Entmoot
 


Go Back   Entmoot > J.R.R. Tolkien > The Silmarillion > The Silmarillion Project
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-10-2003, 02:48 PM   #1
azalea
Long lost mooter
 
azalea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,342
Silmarillion discussion ch. 13: Of the Return of the Noldor

Supplimental readings:
Book of Lost Tales 1: "Flight of the Noldoli"
The Shaping of Middle Earth: "Prose Fragments," "The Earliest Silmarillion," "The Quenta," and "The Earliest Annals of Beleriand"
The Lost Road: "Quenta Silmarillion" and "The Later Annals of Beleriand"
(If this is incorrect or if there are more, please let me know and I'll add them to this list.)

Summary:
This is a relatively lengthy chapter containing a lot of important action. Feanor and the gang return to Middle Earth in exile from Valinor in pursuit of Morgoth and the Silmarils. Feanor is killed by Gothmog, lord of the Balrogs in battle. The Noldor are reunited with their Elvish kin still residing in Middle Earth, particularly Thingol and the Grey Elves. Maedhros is captured by Morgoth during battle and hung from Thangorodrim. Fingolfin and his group arrive, and there is animosity between them and the sons of Feanor. Fingon rescues Maedhros (which, IMO, is one of the most powerful and moving narratives in the book). Fingolfin hosts
the Mereth Aderthad (Feast of Reuniting). Updates are given about some of the main characters, regarding where they settled, etc. Morgoth then instigates the Dagor Aglareb (Glorious Battle) and the Siege of Angband begins. The chapter ends with a description of the period of 400 years (reminiscent to me of the Pax Romana), during which time there are only two major skirmishes with the dark forces, one being with Glaurung, the fire drake.

(I was unable to read all of the supplimental material, but what I did read of it revealed that little was changed from the original idea except for the contunuous addition of details and incidents serving to enrich the tale.
Please keep in mind as this is discussed that I am one of the less knowledgable posters regarding The Silmarillion and it's history, so some questions I may ask are for clarity as much as for a springboard for discussion, in hopes that others like me may benefit from the knowledge of the "scholars" here. )

(points for discussion on next post)
azalea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2003, 03:56 PM   #2
azalea
Long lost mooter
 
azalea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,342
Points for discussion:

A

1.Dagor-nuin-Giliath (Battle-under-Stars)
a. It is written that although Feanor and co. were outnumbered by Morgoth's host, they were victorious in part because "the light of Aman was not yet dimmed in their eyes..." What does this phrase mean exactly (was it a physical light, or metaphorical) and how did it affect their battle prowess?
b. I find it amazing that this group of Noldor had the energy to battle and WIN (especially being outnumbered) after coming all that way, after burning the ships, etc., not only winning, but actually driving the orcs back to the Fen of Serech! What stamina! Do you think they'd have been as successful if they had not been so full of "wrath?"
c. A phrase describing Morgoth's defeat reads "from it [the battle] returned of all the hosts that he had prepared for the conquest of Beleriand no more than a handful of leaves [my emphasis]." I find this an odd description -- what exactly do you think it means (again, is it literal, and if not, why characterize orcs as leaves, a metaphor so often applied to elves)? Why do you think Tolkien chose to illustrate it this way?

2. Feanor presses his luck
As Feanor seeks to drive his foes back to Morgoth himself, he laughs aloud, "rejoicing that he had dared the wrath of the Valar and the evils of the road, that he might see the hour of his vengence." I see this as a failing -- his "vengence" being more important to him than his kin and his "gods" (for lack of a better word). He is not "grim yet determined," nor "bitter yet resigned to complete his self-appointed task," he is described as being happy in his wrath, as if he has been given an excuse for all he has done. Not good -- this does not speak well for his character IMO. He is mentally out of control at this point -- FEY. Tolkien describes him as being "consumed by the flame of his own wrath." HE DEFEATS HIMSELF.
Maybe it was all he had been through, and that he needed to feel justified in his deeds that caused him to be "out of control" here, but what might have happened if he had taken time to col down and be more level-headed about it? If he lost the wrath, would he also have lost the drive, that was contageous and motivated the rest of the bunch, and resulted in failure? Or would he have been able to come out with similar results (driving back the forces), but also his life? Or perhaps his sons were so enflamed by his death that they were only then able to make this particular victory happen? Your thoughts?

3. Death of Feanor
a. "And looking out from the slopes of Ered Wethrin with his last sight he beheld far off the peaks of Thangorodrim...and knew...that no power of the Noldor would ever overthrow them [Thangorodrim and the other towers there]." I find this an interesting sentence -- I guess it means that in the end it will be the power of men and the Valar that must aid in their destruction, but we don't "know" that yet as we read -- a nice bit of foreshadowing.
b. This has been discussed before recently (does anyone remember which thread?): would it have been better if Feanor had released his sons form attemting to fulfill the oath? COULD he have? But he never would have IMO, because then all of his deeds would have been in vain ("we" don't like to think that, and will do whatever possible to avoid facing that. But he could already see that "no power of the Noldor would overthrow," on the other hand, he still thought they could perhaps get the Silmarils back). Would it have been better for him to have seen that he had been too hot-headed, etc.? I guess no, because Morgoth needed to be fought anyway, but maybe he could have made the destruction of Morgoth his goal, and NOT the return of the Silmarils, because as we see later that causes problems. I can see him saying to his sons with his last breath, instead of urging them to stick to the oath, "Forget the Silmarils, but never stop in your quest to utterly defeat the Foe. I see now that this must be accomplished by working together with blah, blah..." But I see that this would be too much to ask from him.

(continued -- post limits )
azalea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2003, 04:08 PM   #3
azalea
Long lost mooter
 
azalea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,342
c. As he dies, his fiery spirit leaves, turning his body to ash, which was blown away like smoke. What a powerful image! I can see that being done as a great special effects scene in a movie.
d."His likeness has never again appeared in Arda, neither has his spirit left the Halls of Mandos." What does everyone think of this. What if he had come back (a la Glorfindel)? Wow. (Does "likeness" mean there was no one like him, or that he never was seen again? And is he still in the Halls of Mandos?)
e. Feanor was the "mightiest of the Noldor...of whose deeds came their greatest renown and their most grievous woe." Explain what this means to you.
f. Did Tolkien "like" Feanor, not just as a character, but as a person (elf)? He gave him all of these great traits, but made him flawed -- could not the same deeds (I mean in craft and language, as well as battle) been done by one more balanced and "wise" (for lack of a better word)? He certainly is a hero in the classic sense of the word (larger than life, etc.). Is that why he was made to be flawed? And is he a sympathetic character, in your opinion? If Tolkien had met Feanor, would he have admired him? What about his character?

3. Maedhros
At this point in the chapter, we see Maedhros calling Morgoth's bluff about treating and returning a Silmaril (as if they were going to fall for that, Morgoth, I mean really! ). So do you see it as a mistake on his part, or was what happened (his capture, etc.) simply bad luck? He could have refused the offer, but he was trying to outsneak the main sneak, who outsneaked him still. Do you see any underlying lesson given here, such as "if you deal with others in an underhanded way, you will be 'punished'," or was it simply an act of fate, or underestimating the enemy?

B

1. Fingolfin arrives.
a. FLOWERS SPRING FORTH FROM BENEATH HIS FEET!!?? When I first read this, I thought "Okay prefessor, that embellishment may be going a little far in the realm of credibility." But then I realized the flowers were blooming because of the SUN, since the sun was rising for the first time (am I right?) :lightbulb smiley :
b. ...Which leads me to just how lucky he was that it happened at that very moment! Talk about good timing! They march on Angband, and the orcs all flee from the rising sun. (This reminds me of a comedy sketch, but I can't think of a particular one -- the gag where others have done the fighting, then the pompous king comes in and gets the glory, or one where the bad guys run away from a little guy and he feels tough, when behind the little guy is the big guy they were actually running from.)

(still more to come -- the final one, I hope!)
azalea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2003, 04:56 PM   #4
azalea
Long lost mooter
 
azalea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,342
2. Fingon rescues Maedhros
a. This part is pretty straightforward in terms of action, but I wanted to mention a sentence I love (aside from "the thought of their ancient friendship stung at his heart"): when Fingon sings his song when he couldn't find Maedhros (which reminds most of us of Sam in Cirith Ungol), and his song is heard "in the mournful hollows that had never heard before aught save cries of fear and woe." I love the personification of the very earth there, which seems to stop and listen to the sound of what must have been one of the most beautiful sounds ever heard -- the singing and harp playing of one of the Eldar. (This also reminds me of the Greek myth -- was it Orpheus? who played his harp and sang to get in and out of Hades?) And then of course we get another glimpse of the fabulous race of Eagles, when Thorondor comes to his aid.

3. The strife between the kindreds is assuaged by Fingon's deed, and Maedhros yeilds the claim of the kingship to Fingolfin (who is characterized as being "of other temper than Feanor" -- a good thing, I suppose). Unfortunately, the other sons of Feanor aren't happy about this. Any thoughts?

4. Thingol verbally marks his territory by way of a message from Angrod, who shows up in Doriath (this is starting to read like an opera synopsis -- so much happens, and so many characters!), and of course, let's all say it together, the sons of Feanor were angered . So we have Caranthir chiding the sons of Finarfin, and Angrod becomes irked, then Maedhros upbraids Caranthir. I love this part, because Tolkien writes that the rest of the elves are getting sick and tired of the sons of Feanor constantly throwing tantrums (okay, that's not exactly it, but basically). Of course, they can't complain (or else they'll become the brunt of it -- NO NO I'm kidding) because really the "wrath" is what brought them through everything that had passed so far. Otherwise they may have all just given up. Yes?

5. Finrod is a copycat.
a. Finrod decides to build a hidden kingdom after seeing Doriath, and Nargothrond is founded. It is at this point we hear how the dwarves give him the Nauglamir, and the name Felagund. What do you think this looked like (it is described as being gold set with gems).
b. This sentence intrigued me: "But Finrod Felagund was not the first to dwell in the caves beside the River Narog." I seem to have forgotten what is meant by this -- can anyone enlighten me?

There is so much that happens in this chapter, I haven't even mentioned everything, but I hope that if there's something I didn't bring up that you'd like to discuss that you post about it. I am already afraid that the number of "points" I've brought up will itself kill the discussion, because it is so much to respond to. I almost thought about waiting a few days to post some of the stuff, to spread it out a little, but I got on a roll, plus I wasn't sure if that would mess things up. Anyway, to end the introduction, I have a few general questions for discussion:

Is hate evil? The good and evil thread made me think about this as I read about Feanor and his wrath, that ultimately led to good (the driving back of Morgoth), but caused so much evil as well. So was his hatred a good thing? Did Tolkien see this?

Was it a good thing or ultimately a bad idea that led to complacency and thus destruction to build all these "hidden kingdoms" (Doriath, Nargothrond, Gondolin)? And was their ultimate destruction really a bad thing (a question for a later chapter, I know)?

Galadriel and Melian: It is described here how Galadriel stayed and hung out w/ Melian, learning a lot from her. Is this how she became the most powerful of the Eldar in ME, or was it just adding to her knowledge base to be her "pupil" (did she get power or jsut knowledge)? Or was it jsut that so many of the others had left and she had been there so long by the time we see her in LotR that she is the most powerful? (Sorry if I'm not making sense at this point, my mind is getting mushy).

Okay, your turn! (Whew! )
azalea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2003, 06:05 PM   #5
Wayfarer
The Insufferable
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,333
Wheee!

1. Dagor-nuin-Giliath (Battle-under-Stars)

In order to understand what's happening here, one has to keep in mind that elves are spiritual more than physical creatures. Sure, they're physically impressive, strong, fast, beautiful, immune to sickness and weariness, and ultimately immortal. But those are never presented as having physical origins. The thing that seperates elves from men is the greater control their spirits have over their bodies. The spiritual strength of an elf carries over into the physical realm, which is why, for example, an elf that fell into despair would 'fade' into nothingness. The spirit stops supporting the body, which falls out of existance.

Now, it's noted many times that elves who had gone to Aman were stronger in spirit (and thus in body) than those who had not. The light of the two trees especially seems to have invigorated them. And at this time, the elven host was still at full strength. You think of it in terms of them having just come from a long journey, but in truth they were probably closer to just having woken up in the morning. They were rested, refreshed, in spirit, because they had just come from valinor. It would be many centuries before they grew tired.


Quote:
what exactly do you think it means (again, is it literal, and if not, why characterize orcs as leaves, a metaphor so often applied to elves)?
Take a handfull of leaves and toss them to the wind. That's the picture that's being presented here, I think.

2. Feanor presses his luck

I agree. This does not speak well for Feanor's character. And no, I don't think it can be at all explained by what had happened to him up to that point. It was his impetuous actions that had led to this pass. He was mentally unbalanced, in my opinion-
The word demoniac comes to mind.

3. Death of Feanor

I think it's pretty obvious that nothing the noldor could ever do would be able to defeat Morgoth. They couldn't kill him, which is of course impossible, and they didn't have the means to restrain him as the valar did and cast him out into the void. They were fighting for a lost cause.

I think the could have rescinded his oath, and I think he could have one that battle and come out with his life. But he was to rash to do so. It would have been better.

But, if he knew that the noldor could never win, it would have been silly to have them die trying, right?

Quote:
Does "likeness" mean there was no one like him, or that he never was seen again? And is he still in the Halls of Mandos?)
Both, and yes. At least, it is presumed that he hasn't left Mandos since that passage was written. Which I doubt could happen, because Feanor was one of those characters whose very nature makes it next to impossible to redeem.

Quote:
Feanor was the "mightiest of the Noldor...of whose deeds came their greatest renown and their most grievous woe."
If Feanor had not been duped into leading them back to middle earth, they would have performed none of the great feats of valor that took place during the war of the jewels. The stories in the Silmarillion- those are the deeds of great renown. However, they suffered horrendously for what they did, and if they had stayed in Aman they would have been at least contented.

Quote:
Did Tolkien "like" Feanor, not just as a character, but as a person (elf)? He gave him all of these great traits, but made him flawed -- could not the same deeds (I mean in craft and language, as well as battle) been done by one more balanced and "wise" (for lack of a better word)? He certainly is a hero in the classic sense of the word (larger than life, etc.). Is that why he was made to be flawed? And is he a sympathetic character, in your opinion? If Tolkien had met Feanor, would he have admired him? What about his character?
I don't think so. I think Feanor was a typical Tragic Hero. It's not completely his fault, and the plot progresses naturally at each turn, but the end result is disaster. I don't think Feanor is the kind of person anybody likes. He's impressive, admirable, and so forth, but he's not somebody you can make friends with, I don't think.
__________________
Disgraced he may be, yet is not dethroned,
and keeps the rags of lordship once he owned
Wayfarer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2003, 06:26 PM   #6
Wayfarer
The Insufferable
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,333
3. Maedhros

I see what happens as a mistake on Maedhros's part- after all, it was pretty stupid to try and outmanuever a god. However, it was also due to circumstances beyond his control. It was both fate and underestimating the enemy.

1. Fingolfin arrives.
The flower thing, as well as the whole idea of his showing up right as the first sun rose, could be taken as hyperbole and silly exaggeration. On the other hand, it could be taken as divine providence. You never know. It certainly wasn't by planning on his part that this happened.

2. Fingon rescues Maedhros
I really don't see it as action. In an action sequence he would have come in and killed a whole bunch of orcs as he fought his way through to the main room or the dungeon whatever in Angband. Instead, it's very dramatic, with his sneaking in and ending up chopping off his best friend's hand to save him.

Quote:
The strife between the kindreds is assuaged by Fingon's deed, and Maedhros yeilds the claim of the kingship to Fingolfin (who is characterized as being "of other temper than Feanor" -- a good thing, I suppose). Unfortunately, the other sons of Feanor aren't happy about this. Any thoughts?
Maedhros was the most elvish of the bunch, IMO. Some of those siblings act positively like orcs. They're more concerned about personal gain and power than who's the best leader for the people.

[quote]4. Thingol verbally marks his territory by way of a message from Angrod, who shows up in Doriath (this is starting to read like an opera synopsis -- so much happens, and so many characters!), and of course, let's all say it together, the sons of Feanor were angered . So we have Caranthir chiding the sons of Finarfin, and Angrod becomes irked, then Maedhros upbraids Caranthir.[quote]Another reason why I really like Maedhros. He's a great character, and manages to be... how does one say this? He's not really tragic, in the classic sense, he doesn't end in a huge disaster and things actually turn out pretty well, but the way his oath turns out makes you sick in the pit of your stomach. It's just depressing.

5. Finrod is a copycat
Indeed, he was. Nothing wrong with that, and in fact his willingness to cooperate and help others, and accept help and ideas, is what marks him as a great leader. Maybe that's what they mean when they say he was the fairest of the elven kings.

In any case, It was the petty dwarves, Mim and his Ilk, that had lived in those caves at first. But they were in decline, being cast out from their clans, and that the sindar would hunt them like animals obviously didn't help. After the destruction of Nargothrond, Mim reclaims the cave and all the treasures therein, and it is his curse upon the gold (Which Hurin takes to Doriath after killing him) that resulted in the death of Thingol and the Sack of Doriath.

Quote:
Is hate evil? The good and evil thread made me think about this as I read about Feanor and his wrath, that ultimately led to good (the driving back of Morgoth), but caused so much evil as well. So was his hatred a good thing? Did Tolkien see this?
Hate is a product of evil, and the capacity for hate is an indication that a being has been corrupted. Illuvatar, the ultimate good in the universe, does not speak to Melkor in hate.

Quote:
Galadriel and Melian: It is described here how Galadriel stayed and hung out w/ Melian, learning a lot from her. Is this how she became the most powerful of the Eldar in ME, or was it just adding to her knowledge base to be her "pupil" (did she get power or jsut knowledge)? Or was it jsut that so many of the others had left and she had been there so long by the time we see her in LotR that she is the most powerful? (Sorry if I'm not making sense at this point, my mind is getting mushy).
Galadriel was the greatest woman among the noldor, I think, so she was already very impressive before coming to Doriath, and only became more so. However, I think that part of it is that so many others had died. Elrond is several generations younger than her and arguably more powerful.
__________________
Disgraced he may be, yet is not dethroned,
and keeps the rags of lordship once he owned
Wayfarer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2003, 10:37 PM   #7
azalea
Long lost mooter
 
azalea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,342
Thanks for your thorough response to my intro!

I love your first two paragraphs describing the elves' physical-spiritual relationship, that illustrates it very well, especially about how their long journey was for them like just waking up because of the power gained in Aman. Good point.

I also like your comment about Maedhros' "orc-like" sibs.
azalea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2003, 06:37 AM   #8
Artanis
Greatest Elven woman of Aman
 
Artanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Having way too much fun with Fëanor's 7
Posts: 4,285
azalea - wow!

1.Dagor-nuin-Giliath (Battle-under-Stars)
I was thinking that "the light of Aman" in the eyes of the Noldor was in itself a powerful weapon against the enemy. Middle-Earth lay still in darkness, except for the light from the stars, and Morgoth and his creatures feared the light.

Wayfarer, I think your description of the Ñoldor as "just having woken up in the morning" is very good. And I think they had this terrible rage against the enemy that had so cruelly betrayed them in Valinor. These factors were more important than the superior control of their bodies through their spirits, as I see it.

2. Feanor presses his luck
This is just too sad. Fëanor was gifted, being stronger in spirit than anyone else, but unfortunately he wasn't given wisdom enough to go with it. I can imagine him being full of burning energy, unable to wait, unable to be patient, unable to think clearly. We have to bear in mind that he went against the foe who had killed his beloved father.

3. Death of Feanor
Fëanor was long ago far beyond the point where he would give up the quest for the Silmarils. It was natural for him to press his sons to fulfil the oath, though I don't think it would have mattered much if he hadn't pressed them, I think they were themselves aflamed and determined to keep the oath and to have revenge for their father's death. And even if he would have wanted to release his sons from the oath they had taken, I don't think he had the power to do it.
Quote:
But, if he knew that the noldor could never win, it would have been silly to have them die trying, right?
This is true if the only goal is to be alive in the short run. But it is not true here. Even if Morgoth could not be defeated by the Ñoldor, it was still of vital importance to fight him, to fence him in, to reduce his power. This they later did with the aid of Men. Of course this could only happen by grievious suffering and loss of lives. But such is the world of Tolkien, good will conquer evil in the end, but at what cost? When all is over and victory is won, people will have suffered greatly, but they will not have suffered in vain.

The description of Fëanor's death reminds me of the 'death' of Saruman. The likeness says something about the power of Fëanor's spirit, doesn't it?

When the Elves died they could return to life if they wished, but only after they had stayed by Mandos for some time. Fëanor was an exception. He was not allowed to return from the Halls of Mandos, so his spirit would still be there.

I'm one who happen to like Fëanor, at least the person he was before he was influenced by Melkor. Perhaps it would be difficult to be his friend, not because he lacked good qualities, but because he was so exceptional, both in the way life had fared with him (mother dead of free will, father remarried) and in the strength of his spirit. There was not his like in the world, and I think he was very lonely.
__________________
--Life is hard, and then we die.
Artanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2003, 08:13 AM   #9
Artanis
Greatest Elven woman of Aman
 
Artanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Having way too much fun with Fëanor's 7
Posts: 4,285
1. Fingolfin arrives.
Quote:
But as the host of Fingolfin marched into Mithrim the Sun rose flaming in the West; and Fingolfin unfurled his blue and silver banners, and blew his horns, and flowers sprang beneath his marching feet, and the ages of the stars were ended.
As I've said in the previous thread: This is beautiful. What a welcome. Life grows again in Middle-Earth. The sun rises and Men awake. Marvellous.

2. Fingon rescues Maedhros
This is one of the best moments in the Sil. Fingon demonstrates the true meaning of friendship.

When I read this part again I came to wonder about a little thing. Fingon takes his harp and sings. He is deliberately going towards Thangorodrim, the fastness of Morgoth, to free Maedhros. And he brings his harp! It seems too much of a coincidence. Did these Elves always carry music instruments with them, or what?

I'd like to put in links to some pictures here:
The saving of Maedhros (Warning: it is 'bloody')
Maglor and Maedhros
I like how Maedhros is pictured as red-haired. And Thorondor looks great.

The strife between the kindreds
Maedhros did the only right thing when he gave up his claim to the kingship. About his siblings not being to happy about that, well, they had inherited their view on this matter from their father. They had not had the opportunity to think things over through long years in isolated torment, as had Maedhros. This strife started long ago between Fingolfin and Fëanor, and both parties were to blame for not being able to end it.

And I think calling any Elf 'orc-like' is a cruel offence.

Galadriel and Melian:
Galadriel was wise enough to seek knowledge where she could find it, and what would be more natural than to learn from a Maia? She knows that knowledge can be turned into power. I think it is right to say that Galadriel was one of the most powerful of the Eldar in Middle-Earth through the years. There were others as powerful, I think, but the nature of their power was different. Galadriel says herself in LotR:
Quote:
For not in doing or contriving, nor in choosing between this course and another, can I avail; but only in knowing what was and is, and in part also what shall be.
__________________
--Life is hard, and then we die.

Last edited by Artanis : 09-11-2003 at 09:41 AM.
Artanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2003, 03:24 PM   #10
azalea
Long lost mooter
 
azalea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,342
Quote:
Originally posted by Artanis


1.Dagor-nuin-Giliath (Battle-under-Stars)
I was thinking that "the light of Aman" in the eyes of the Noldor was in itself a powerful weapon against the enemy. Middle-Earth lay still in darkness, except for the light from the stars, and Morgoth and his creatures feared the light.



So your take on it is that it was an actual physical light shining rom their eyes? I know elven eyes are described as being bright anyway, so maybe the light was like an extra "twinkle" that would have really stood out in the darkness. Silly but fun question: Would each elf's light shine out as the color of his own eyes, or would all their lights be one color (like gold)?


Quote:

The description of Fëanor's death reminds me of the 'death' of Saruman. The likeness says something about the power of Fëanor's spirit, doesn't it?

When the Elves died they could return to life if they wished, but only after they had stayed by Mandos for some time. Fëanor was an exception. He was not allowed to return from the Halls of Mandos, so his spirit would still be there.

I'm one who happen to like Fëanor, at least the person he was before he was influenced by Melkor. Perhaps it would be difficult to be his friend, not because he lacked good qualities, but because he was so exceptional, both in the way life had fared with him (mother dead of free will, father remarried) and in the strength of his spirit. There was not his like in the world, and I think he was very lonely.
Good comparison about his death and Saruman's.
So WHY was he not allowed out of Mandos again?
That's sad that he was lonely (but what about what's her name , his wife?). He gives off the appearance of not caring much about stuff like that.

The harp: I guess this shows how very important music was to the Eldar, it was a staple like food and water that meant so much that they woulnd't undertake a journey without it (it might also have been habit, because what else is one to do on a long journey, esp. alone? You can't very well tell stories when you're by yourself).

Those are great pics, thanks! Thorondor was excellent (although for some reason I always imagined him as a Golden eagle rather than a Bald).
azalea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2003, 05:50 PM   #11
Rían
Half-Elven Princess of Rabbit Trails and Harp-Wielding Administrator (beware the Rubber Chicken of Doom!)
 
Rían's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Not where I want to be ...
Posts: 15,157
Great intro, azalea! Thanks There was sure a lot going on, wasn't there!

Just a couple of quick points -

I agree with azalea and Artanis about the section on Fingon saving Maedhros - that's always been one of my favorite sections. Reminds me of what I heard once was the unofficial motto of the Coast Guard here in the US - basically, you gotta go out, even tho you may not come back. I can picture Fingon feeling like that - he just has to go look for his good friend, even tho he'll probably die. And the harp bit always made me smile - even a smallish harp is pretty big! I guess it's just so necessary to them, like food, that they take it everywhere. Or perhaps because he knew he would most probably die, he wanted the extra strength and consolation that music would give to his elvish spirit.

As far as the light in the eyes, IIRC, it was physically painful to Gollum - anyone remember the section? And I kind of imagine a basically clear light glinting out like facets in a diamond, no matter what the eye color. Fun question, azalea!

EDIT - Oh, here it is:
Quote:
'It hurts us, it hurts us,' hissed Gollum. 'It freezes, it bites! Elves twisted it, curse them! Nasty cruel hobbits! That's why we tries to escape, of course it is, precious. We guessed they were cruel hobbits. They visits Elves, fierce Elves with bright eyes. Take it off us! It hurts us.'
Well, it doesn't say that the eyes hurt him, but it seems to suggest it.
__________________
.
I should be doing the laundry, but this is MUCH more fun! Ñá ëí óú éä ïöü Öñ É Þ ð ß ® ç å ™ æ ♪ à

"How lovely are Thy dwelling places, O Lord of hosts! ... For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand outside." (from Psalm 84) * * * God rocks!

Entmoot : Veni, vidi, velcro - I came, I saw, I got hooked!

Ego numquam pronunciare mendacium, sed ego sum homo indomitus!
Run the earth and watch the sky ... Auta i lómë! Aurë entuluva!

Last edited by Rían : 09-11-2003 at 05:56 PM.
Rían is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2003, 06:55 PM   #12
Wayfarer
The Insufferable
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,333
I really can't accept the characterization of the light of Aman as a weapon. It was part of the elven nature, and only the Enemies would have sought to use that as a weapon.

Evil always will hate and fear goodness, and goodness is always repelled and sickened by evil. In the past of middle earth, that was more obvious than it is today in our world. But since good and evil cannot coexist, a good spirit and an evil spirit would be antagonistic. A creature such as gollum who encountered a creature such as an elf would be an overwhelming experience. His fea, his spirit, would be hurt and cowed by their much stronger fea. Conversely, when we see melkor or sauron encountering a weaker being it is almost as overwhelming. Look at what happened to Pippen- he was terrified and unable to resist.

That's my take on it, anyway.

As for the form the lights took, It's been suggested to me that they would have mirrored the lights of the two trees- so something like sunlight and moonlight. I imagine that it might also have something to do with the eyes being a window to the sould.

Quote:
So WHY was he not allowed out of Mandos again?
An elf went to mandos when they died for the purpose of being healed of the hurts and weariness their spirits had suffered in life. When they were well they were given new bodies. Feanor, whose spirit was stronger than any other elf in history, and who had been insidiously corrupted by Melkor himself, that healing process could take until the end of time. (Elvish legend says it will, and that after the Dagor Dagorad when melkor is defeated utterly and the Silmarils are regained, he'll break them so that the two trees can be reborn.)
__________________
Disgraced he may be, yet is not dethroned,
and keeps the rags of lordship once he owned
Wayfarer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2003, 01:31 AM   #13
Maedhros
The Tall
 
Maedhros's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Formenos
Posts: 578
Quote:
It is written that although Feanor and co. were outnumbered by Morgoth's host, they were victorious in part because "the light of Aman was not yet dimmed in their eyes..." What does this phrase mean exactly (was it a physical light, or metaphorical) and how did it affect their battle prowess?
They were nurtured in Aman, they had still the strength of Valinórë.
Quote:
I find it amazing that this group of Noldor had the energy to battle and WIN (especially being outnumbered) after coming all that way, after burning the ships, etc., not only winning, but actually driving the orcs back to the Fen of Serech! What stamina! Do you think they'd have been as successful if they had not been so full of "wrath?"
Yes, they are ñoldor, and they had passion. Remember, that most of them wanted to be kings of their own.
Quote:
As Feanor seeks to drive his foes back to Morgoth himself, he laughs aloud, "rejoicing that he had dared the wrath of the Valar and the evils of the road, that he might see the hour of his vengence." I see this as a failing -- his "vengence" being more important to him than his kin and his "gods" (for lack of a better word). He is not "grim yet determined," nor "bitter yet resigned to complete his self-appointed task," he is described as being happy in his wrath, as if he has been given an excuse for all he has done. Not good -- this does not speak well for his character IMO. He is mentally out of control at this point -- FEY. Tolkien describes him as being "consumed by the flame of his own wrath." HE DEFEATS HIMSELF.
The exiled Ñoldor had a fatal flaw, and that was their pride. The problem with Fëanor was that he had great pride, but at the same time, he was the most brilliant Elf ever. He almost single handedly created the alphabet and was the greatest loremaster. His skills in the invention and creation of things were unsurpassed. He just let his passion get the better of him. The only time that I have seen Fëanor regret something is when he killed his own son (one of the twins) in the burning of the Ships of Losgar. But the death of Fëanor is a necessity for the story, it allows the healing of the ñoldor in ME that would have not occurred with him alive.
Quote:
would it have been better if Feanor had released his sons form attemting to fulfill the oath? COULD he have? But he never would have IMO, because then all of his deeds would have been in vain ("we" don't like to think that, and will do whatever possible to avoid facing that. But he could already see that "no power of the Noldor would overthrow," on the other hand, he still thought they could perhaps get the Silmarils back).
Even if he had released his sons from the Oath, they would still have felt bound to it. Remember these were proud elves, who always kept their words.
Quote:
"His likeness has never again appeared in Arda, neither has his spirit left the Halls of Mandos." What does everyone think of this. What if he had come back (a la Glorfindel)? Wow. (Does "likeness" mean there was no one like him, or that he never was seen again? And is he still in the Halls of Mandos?)
He was a genius sans pareil. He is still in Mandos.
Quote:
Is that why he was made to be flawed? And is he a sympathetic character, in your opinion? If Tolkien had met Feanor, would he have admired him? What about his character?
Fëanor is of course, essential to the story. How else would you make elves abandon paradise if not with someone like Fëanor? Remember that his mother died, and there was a failure of love between the Ñoldóran and Míriel.
Quote:
This also reminds me of the Greek myth -- was it Orpheus? who played his harp and sang to get in and out of Hades?
Yes, it was Orpheus. He charmed Hades with his harp and persuaded him to release his wife from his kingdom, unfortunately, his wife looked back and she remained in Hades forever.
__________________
“What does the term american refers to” asked the boy, and the wise man answered: “Lets look at the dictionary then.”
As an adjective American is:
1. Of or relating to the United States of America or its people, language, or culture.
2. Of or relating to North or South America, the West Indies, or the Western Hemisphere.
As a noun American is:
A native or inhabitant of America.
A citizen of the United States.

Then the boy asked, “What is America then?”, and the wise man looked at the dictionary again:
1. The United States.
2. also the A·mer·i·cas. The landmasses and islands of North America, Central America, and South America.

Confused, the boy asked, “Does the term american refers solely to a us citizen or to any person in North, Central or South America?”
The wise man replied: “What do you think?”, and the boy answered: “It is clear to me that while the term american is used to refers to us citizens, one can also use it to refer to any person who is from that continent too,” the boy thought for a while and asked the wise man, “Am I right?”, and he replied: “But of course.”
The boy wondered, why is it that some people refuse to acknowledge the fact that the term american refers not only to US citizens but to anyone of the American continent?, but then sadly, the boy understood, that it is the calamity of ignorance.
Maedhros is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2003, 01:35 AM   #14
Maedhros
The Tall
 
Maedhros's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Formenos
Posts: 578
Quote:
And then of course we get another glimpse of the fabulous race of Eagles, when Thorondor comes to his aid.
The interesting thing is that it appears that Manwë intervened and helped the Ñoldor by recognizing the prayer of Fingon, when his messenger had said in the gates of Tirion that the Valar would offer no help to them.
Quote:
The strife between the kindreds is assuaged by Fingon's deed, and Maedhros yeilds the claim of the kingship to Fingolfin (who is characterized as being "of other temper than Feanor" -- a good thing, I suppose). Unfortunately, the other sons of Feanor aren't happy about this. Any thoughts?
I guess that some would have not been happy, most notably i would say Celegorm, Curufin and Caranthir.
Quote:
Thingol verbally marks his territory by way of a message from Angrod, who shows up in Doriath
What I find interesting is that Thingol would not even receive any ñoldor who was not related to him. That is low even for Thingol.
Quote:
Finrod decides to build a hidden kingdom after seeing Doriath, and Nargothrond is founded. It is at this point we hear how the dwarves give him the Nauglamir, and the name Felagund.
Of course that FF is a copycat. The dwarves of Nogrod did not make the Nauglamír for FF, that was an editorial addition by CT. The dwarves made the Nauglamír for Thingol in Doriath, after Húrin returned from Angband.
Quote:
This sentence intrigued me: "But Finrod Felagund was not the first to dwell in the caves beside the River Narog." I seem to have forgotten what is meant by this -- can anyone enlighten me?
Remember Mim the petty dwarf.
Quote:
Is hate evil? The good and evil thread made me think about this as I read about Feanor and his wrath, that ultimately led to good (the driving back of Morgoth), but caused so much evil as well. So was his hatred a good thing? Did Tolkien see this?
Yes he did. From Morgoth’s Ring: Myths Transformed
Quote:
One especial aspect of this is the strange way in which the evils of the Marrer, or his inheritors, are turned into weapons against evil. If we consider the situation after the escape of Morgoth and the reestablishment of his abode in Middle-earth, we shall see that the heroic Noldor were the best possible weapon with which to keep Morgoth at bay, virtually besieged, and at any rate fully occupied, on the northern fringe of Middle-earth, without provoking him to a frenzy of nihilistic destruction. And in the meanwhile, Men, or the best elements in Mankind, shaking off his shadow, came into contact with a people who had actually seen and experienced the Blessed Realm.
Quote:
Was it a good thing or ultimately a bad idea that led to complacency and thus destruction to build all these "hidden kingdoms" (Doriath, Nargothrond, Gondolin)? And was their ultimate destruction really a bad thing (a question for a later chapter, I know)?
It was a good thing, the downfall of all those kingdoms was because of the pride of those kings.
__________________
“What does the term american refers to” asked the boy, and the wise man answered: “Lets look at the dictionary then.”
As an adjective American is:
1. Of or relating to the United States of America or its people, language, or culture.
2. Of or relating to North or South America, the West Indies, or the Western Hemisphere.
As a noun American is:
A native or inhabitant of America.
A citizen of the United States.

Then the boy asked, “What is America then?”, and the wise man looked at the dictionary again:
1. The United States.
2. also the A·mer·i·cas. The landmasses and islands of North America, Central America, and South America.

Confused, the boy asked, “Does the term american refers solely to a us citizen or to any person in North, Central or South America?”
The wise man replied: “What do you think?”, and the boy answered: “It is clear to me that while the term american is used to refers to us citizens, one can also use it to refer to any person who is from that continent too,” the boy thought for a while and asked the wise man, “Am I right?”, and he replied: “But of course.”
The boy wondered, why is it that some people refuse to acknowledge the fact that the term american refers not only to US citizens but to anyone of the American continent?, but then sadly, the boy understood, that it is the calamity of ignorance.
Maedhros is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2003, 04:19 AM   #15
Artanis
Greatest Elven woman of Aman
 
Artanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Having way too much fun with Fëanor's 7
Posts: 4,285
Quote:
Originally posted by azalea
That's sad that he was lonely (but what about what's her name , his wife?). He gives off the appearance of not caring much about stuff like that.
His wife was Nerdanel. It is said somewhere that she was like him in mind, only more patient, and that she was his companion on many of his journeys (Sorry, don't have time to find the actual quote). But when I say lonely I think of the kind of loneliness that appears when you have experienced something which is impossible to share with anyone else, because there's no one who have experienced anything similar and so they're not able to understand.
Quote:
Originally posted by Wayfarer
I really can't accept the characterization of the light of Aman as a weapon. It was part of the elven nature, and only the Enemies would have sought to use that as a weapon.
Yes. When I say weapon I didn't mean used deliberately as a weapon. It was as you say a part of the Elves, but it had the effect of putting fear into the enemy.
__________________
--Life is hard, and then we die.
Artanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2003, 09:59 AM   #16
Sister Golden Hair
Queen of Nargothrond
Administrator
 
Sister Golden Hair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Akron, Ohio - USA
Posts: 7,121
Light in the eyes
It always seemed to me that the Exiled Noldor had a brighter eye than other Elves, because of dwelling in the light of the Two Trees. All Elves had the light of the stars in their eyes, that shown on them at their awakening. I don't think it was so much the bright light in the eyes of the Noldor, as much as it was their keen, sharp glance that was intimidating.

Fingon's song
It is strange that in such a dire situation that he just happens to have this harp on him, and whips it out and plays. I think that music is a spiritual thing, and we all know that the Elves were a spiritual bunch.

Nargothrond
Maedhros, (of Entmoot ) Finrod was not a copycat, but was following the instructions of Ulmo. He was filled with wonder at the strength and majesty of Menegroth, and fashioned Nargothrond on that model.

Yes azalea, the Petty Dwarves first delved the caverns that later became Nargothrond. They were the original dwellers.
__________________
"Whither go you?" she said.

"North away." he said: "to the swords, and the siege, and the walls of defence - that yet for a while in Beleriand rivers may run clean, leaves spring, and birds build their nests, ere Night comes."

AboutNewJersey.com - New Jersey
Travel and Tourism Guide
Sister Golden Hair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2003, 11:16 AM   #17
Lefty Scaevola
AngAdan
 
Lefty Scaevola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 851
Quote:
Originally posted by Sister Golden Hair
[b]Light in the eyes
It always seemed to me that the Exiled Noldor had a brighter eye than other Elves, because of dwelling in the light of the Two Trees. All Elves had the light of the stars in their eyes, that shown on them at their awakening. I don't think it was so much the bright light in the eyes of the Noldor, as much as it was their keen, sharp glance that was intimidating.
I am recalling from somewhere in HoME that one of the names for the Noldor by the Sindar meant bright eyes, and that said eyes was the only clear distiguishing visable thrait between the high Elves and the MoriQuendi.
Lefty Scaevola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2003, 12:16 PM   #18
Wayfarer
The Insufferable
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,333
Quote:
The dwarves of Nogrod did not make the Nauglamír for FF, that was an editorial addition by CT. The dwarves made the Nauglamír for Thingol in Doriath, after Húrin returned from Angband.
I thought that the Nauglamir was made first, and that Thingol only commissioned the dwarves to set the Silmaril within it. Because the nauglamir was part of the hoard of nargothrond, and was under the Mim's curse, the dwarves and Thingol had a falling out over the completed artifact.
__________________
Disgraced he may be, yet is not dethroned,
and keeps the rags of lordship once he owned
Wayfarer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2003, 01:46 PM   #19
Sister Golden Hair
Queen of Nargothrond
Administrator
 
Sister Golden Hair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Akron, Ohio - USA
Posts: 7,121
Quote:
Originally posted by Wayfarer
I thought that the Nauglamir was made first, and that Thingol only commissioned the dwarves to set the Silmaril within it. Because the nauglamir was part of the hoard of nargothrond, and was under the Mim's curse, the dwarves and Thingol had a falling out over the completed artifact.
I believe that Nolendil had commented on this some time ago. I am not sure where it is written, but the original version is that the Nauglamir was made for Thingol by the Dwarves. However, I prefer the version of the Silmarillion.
__________________
"Whither go you?" she said.

"North away." he said: "to the swords, and the siege, and the walls of defence - that yet for a while in Beleriand rivers may run clean, leaves spring, and birds build their nests, ere Night comes."

AboutNewJersey.com - New Jersey
Travel and Tourism Guide
Sister Golden Hair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2003, 03:39 PM   #20
Maedhros
The Tall
 
Maedhros's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Formenos
Posts: 578
Quote:
I thought that the Nauglamir was made first, and that Thingol only commissioned the dwarves to set the Silmaril within it. Because the nauglamir was part of the hoard of nargothrond, and was under the Mim's curse, the dwarves and Thingol had a falling out over the completed artifact.
That is not so. From the Book of Lost Tales II: The Nauglafring
Quote:
"Know then that great store of thy best and purest gold remaineth still, for we have husbanded it, having a boon to ask of thee, and it is this: we would make thee a carcanet and to its making lay all the skill and cunning that we have, and we desire that this should be the most marvellous ornament that the Earth has seen, and the greatest of the works of Elves and Dwarves. Therefore we beg of thee to let us have that Silmaril that thou treasurest, that it may shine wondrously amid the Nauglafring, the Necklace of the Dwarves."
The carcanet is of course the Nauglamír.
From The Shaping of Middle-Earth: The Quenta
Quote:
Then the enchantment of the accursed dragon gold began to fall even upon the king of Doriath, and long he sat and gazed upon it, and the seed of the love of gold that was in his heart was waked to growth. Wherefore he summoned the greatest of all craftsmen that now were in the western world, since Nargothrond was no more (and Gondolin was not known), the Dwarves of Nogrod and Belegost, that they might fashion the gold and silver and the gems (for much was yet unwrought) into countless vessels and fair things; and a marvellous necklace of great beauty they should make, whereon to hang the Silmaril.
__________________
“What does the term american refers to” asked the boy, and the wise man answered: “Lets look at the dictionary then.”
As an adjective American is:
1. Of or relating to the United States of America or its people, language, or culture.
2. Of or relating to North or South America, the West Indies, or the Western Hemisphere.
As a noun American is:
A native or inhabitant of America.
A citizen of the United States.

Then the boy asked, “What is America then?”, and the wise man looked at the dictionary again:
1. The United States.
2. also the A·mer·i·cas. The landmasses and islands of North America, Central America, and South America.

Confused, the boy asked, “Does the term american refers solely to a us citizen or to any person in North, Central or South America?”
The wise man replied: “What do you think?”, and the boy answered: “It is clear to me that while the term american is used to refers to us citizens, one can also use it to refer to any person who is from that continent too,” the boy thought for a while and asked the wise man, “Am I right?”, and he replied: “But of course.”
The boy wondered, why is it that some people refuse to acknowledge the fact that the term american refers not only to US citizens but to anyone of the American continent?, but then sadly, the boy understood, that it is the calamity of ignorance.
Maedhros is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Lord of the Rings discussion project azalea LOTR Discussion Project 460 01-20-2008 11:35 AM
Silmarillion Discussion Chapters Assignements Maedhros The Silmarillion Project 120 07-12-2004 07:34 PM
The Silmarillion: Ch 7: Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor cassiopeia The Silmarillion Project 69 02-09-2004 11:05 AM
The Silmarillion Ch 9: Of the Flight of the Noldor Diamond of Long Cleeve The Silmarillion Project 14 01-29-2004 05:23 PM
The Silmarillion Discussion Project. Sister Golden Hair The Silmarillion 3 11-15-2002 09:37 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
(c) 1997-2012, The Tolkien Trail