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Old 11-14-2003, 03:45 PM   #1
azalea
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CH. 16: "Of Maeglin"

I did a bunch of reading of HoME as research for this ch., but sadly it was so long ago that the notebook I took notes in about it is in the depths of the mess in my office, so I won't be giving that info today. However, I will edit my post when I find it (I'll do a thorough search this weekend) so as to share that info too. I would look for it now, but I want to go ahead and get this posted.

One thing I DO remember is that his name was originally spelled Meglin, but I don't remember why it was changed (I bet some of you linguist-types could shed some light there ).

Also, before I begin the intro proper, I'll post a link to this thread, which contains discussion about this chapter, Eol in particular.

This chapter gives the history of Maeglin and how he became a citizen of Gondolin. It begins by describing how Aredhel, who has come with Turgon to the Hidden Kingdom, wants to go wandering. Turgon is unhappy with her wish to go out of the realm, not only because of the possible danger to her, but also because he fears that one of her company will divulge Gondolin's location. He agrees to let her go to Hithlum and seek Fingon, but she wants to find the sons of Feanor. However, when her company reaches Doriath, she is told they may not pass through, but must go around.
She then becomes separated from the group as they try to go around, because the company "became enmeshed in shadows" near Nan Dungortheb.
What exactly does this look like -- becoming enmeshed in shadows? Is this physically getting lost in the dark, or is there an element of psychological enchantment?
This passage also mentions poisoned streams like the ones described in Mirkwood (although there the person just falls asleep, probably because having it be deadly would be too much for a children's book). I wonder what it is that causes the streams to be poisoned -- is it just the natural result of their proximity to evil, or are the streams intentionally made to be this way by the villians?
Then it describes there being fell creatures of Ungoliant -- are these spiders, again like in Mirkwood, or are they just a variety of evil critters?

The rest of the company returns to Gondolin and tells Turgon of her being lost.
[I think these passages describing Aredhel's wandering really help to describe the size of ME. Sometimes it's hard to imagine what it would look like to be there travelling from place to place, and passages like these help me to do that.]
Anyway, she rides on and finds Celegorm's people, but he is away, and she gets bored waiting for his return, so she takes to riding far out of that land in the course of her exploring. She then becomes enmeshed in the dark forest of Nan Elmoth.

[continued]
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Old 11-14-2003, 03:46 PM   #2
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Eol, the Dark Elf, dwells here in shadow, having left Doriath due to being "restless and ill at ease" there. He dislikes the Noldor, he blames them for the return of Morgoth (how ironic then that he is indirectly the cause of Morgoth's victory over Gondolin -- maybe if he had gotten over his hatred, it could have been avoided, who knows). He is friendly with the Naugrim, and from them he gets news of "what passe[s] in the lands of the Eldar." He also visited the dwarf cities, and learned metalwork. He becomes skilled in it. [b]Interesting passage: "he devised a metal as hard as the steel of the Dwarves" [is mithril the steel of the Dwarves? I always forget] and calls it galvorn, "for it was black and shining like jet." It is thin and supple, yet resistant to blades and darts. Do we ever hear of this again? I don't remember it, and it doesn't appear in this ch. again. Are we told this just for our own info? While interesting, it doesn't really figure into the story of Maeglin as I can see. (I think this is one of the reasons that the Silm wasn't accepted for publication early on [I'm reading Letters right now], too much of this kind of extra info that doesn't figure into the story. Actually, I was wondering at what point this chapter was added to the story, because I know the early versions I read just included a brief explanation of who Meglin was. Is it something CT added? I actually like having the ch., but I just wondered. I'll go back to this later.)
Eol is described as grim -- "his eyes could see deep into shadows and dark places." Does this just mean his eyes have adjusted to life in the dark, or is there also a hint of his being able to see beyond what is there, in a "foresight" or "farsighted" kind of way?
"He set his enchantments around [Aredhel]" -- there was some discussion about this in the thread I posted above. I'd like to know if he had special powers, and where did he get them from? Was it wrong of him to use them to get her to his house? Explain your position on this. Also, who were his servants, that are mentioned as living with him? I assume they were other elves? Not dwarves, I guess.
He takes her to wife. It seems that aside from the enchantments used to get her there that she willingly stayed and married him. If you didn't post an opinion in that other thread, I'd like to hear some here -- was he a "bad guy?" I think that he was less noble than most of the elves we see highlighted in these tales, but he wasn't "bad." I'd say he was just misguided, or held a simplistic or somewhat backward view of things. I certainly wouldn't want him for a husband, but I think it's her fault if she didn't want to stay there. And if he was that bad, why have a child with him, why not leave? She's too flightly IMO. It's her constant wish to be elsewhere than she is that leads to each step to the ulimate point where the ball of destruction gets rolling, so to speak.

If I may, I'd like to leave this here, but I cannot post the rest of it right now. Could everyone wait to post until I've finished? I hate to do this, but I can't finish the intro right now. I'll be back later and can post it then. Thanks for your patience.
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Old 11-14-2003, 10:16 PM   #3
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Continuing:

Two restrictions are placed on Aredhel, that she must shun the daylight (I'm not clear on the reason, other than he chose to do that and wanted her to also), and she must not seek any of the Noldor. This is somewhat understandable, given his attitude (someone asked, so why did he marry her, if he hated them so much?), so she should have either stuck with her agreement, or not married him, IMO. They have a son, who Eol won't give a name for twelve years (gee, thanks dad ), but Aredhel secretly calls him Lomin, "Child of the Twilight." Is night considered evil by Tolkien and/ or the elves? (I mean, why should darkness indicate badness when the elves themselves were of the time before the sun and moon?) Must darkness surrounding one's birth or preferences always lead to a bad heart? Or is it simply meant to be a device for communicating with the reader? The exception I can see is Feanor, not dark but "fiery," but then whether or not he was a "bad guy" has been the subject of debate.
Finally his dad gives him the name Maeglin, meaning "Sharp Glance," because "his thought could read the secrets of hearts." Where did this ability to see past certain facades come from (we can glean that he inherited it from his father, but I mean where or more specifically, what is it that allowed them to have this gift, if you will)? Was it a mutation of the gift of all Elves for special insight, similar perhaps to Galadriel's gift of foresight?
Maeglin is said to look like a Noldo, and his description makes him sound really good looking! BUT he has a heart like Eol. He is described as being an elf of few words, but in those words there is a special power. He too is a dwarf friend and learns to mine.
But he ends up being a mama's boy and likes to hear of her kin, which makes her want to return, and makes her wonder why she ever left (plus she is lonely). We are told of Maeglin's interest in the fact that Turgon has only one child, a daughter (Idril), but Aredhel won't tell him how to get there (so far she's proven Turgon wrong, but not for long). Maeglin and Eol argue because Eol won't let him see his mother's kin. This causes a major rift between the two. So while Eol's away, Maeglin confronts his mother about the fact that they both want more freedom, to get away from the dark wood and he is looking for more than this life. She agrees and is happy -- it's as if he's choosing her and her family over Eol, and she wanted to return and now she can.
Eol pursues them and is waylaid by Curufin (this passage would look great as a dramatization). They have a strained exchange.
Curufin claims Eol "stole" Aredhel -- what the hey...? What does he know about their relationship, and she's been with Eol for years and had a kid w/ him! It's not like she couldn't have left before! Then Curufin says he "may not slay him AT THIS TIME. WHAT!?! No wonder he didn't like them!
Eol has guessed their plan. They arrive at Turgon's place and he's happy and accepts Maeglin, who takes Turgon for his "lord and king." He's dazzled by Gondolin, especially his cousin, Idril. Eol discovers the way to the Hidden Kingdom and the guards capture him. Aredhel asks that he be brought there (oops, was that my fault that an outsider found the way? ). He too is amazed by what he sees but is very angry. Turgon welcomes him (man, he should have just accepted that!), and Eol finds that the tables have turned, and now he is the one not allowed to leave (it's funny, either way, Aredhel has not the freedom she wishes she had). He is very bitter, and says that he will leave with Maeglin, but Turgon suddenly gets jerky and says "You owe us your freedom" (whatever, but I do understand his POV regarding no one leaving -- it's an obvious threat to the kingdom, and his attitude is "if you come here, you take that risk (of not being allowed to leave)." So Eol loses it and tries to kill Maeglin, but (it's a pity, maybe the future events could have been averted) dumb-dumb Aredhel jumps in the way and ends up dying. Uh, was there no better way to execute him than to throw him off the cliff? But we get the foreshadowing, as Eol lays the curse on his son.
Idril is the only sane one, IMO, and mistrusts Maeglin, all the others think he's great. He appears loyal, brave and useful to the kingdom. Apparently having the ability to see through a facade allows him to be very adept at putting one up himself.
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Old 11-14-2003, 10:34 PM   #4
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He is called "the greatest...save one" in Gondolin (I assume that's Turgon?). Maeglin never mentions the disagreements he has with others, but seems to bide his time. He longs for Idril, but "without hope." She's repulsed, plus she has a bad feeling about him in general. Then comes the line about the situation being an "evil fruit of the kinslaying." (Ha ha , that's what you get for slaughtering innocent people! )
Unfortunately his unrequited love (or lust) turns to sour obsession, and he has underhandedly gained power in the kingdom.
Could this have been prevented? Think of different points in the course of events, and think of when something might have been done differently that could have averted the tragedy to come. What could Turgon have done? Why couldn't he see what Idril saw in Maeglin? Why didn't Idril try to do something or tell someone? And what would have been different in the end? Was it inevitable because of both the "doom" prophecy and Eol's curse? Could Meglin have been redeemed and turned over a new leaf? How? If he'd fallen for some other woman, and not Idril? Or was there no possibility at any point he might have become a changed elf before the big events to come happened?
Further, I asked about when this chapter was written. Was it necessary to give quite so much backstory on Maeglin? Would the text have been better spent giving us a little more motivation for his evil deeds later? What ultimately is the reason he's such a baddie -- is it nature, nurture, or both (and what specifically of the nurture part was it, if that's your answer?)
I can only see that it's because he's Eol's son, and Eol, though a jerk, didn't seem to be entirely evil. Perhaps it just became magnified in his son.


Thus concludes the lengthy introduction to this chapter. As I said, I'll add the info on the older stuff when I find it (I know it's around here somewhere!) You may now post your thoughts.
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Old 11-15-2003, 08:26 AM   #5
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What an enjoyable read! I loved your added comments.


Quote:
Interesting passage: "he devised a metal as hard as the steel of the Dwarves" [is mithril the steel of the Dwarves? I always forget] and calls it galvorn, "for it was black and shining like jet."

Wasn't Turin's sword made by Eol?
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Old 11-15-2003, 11:35 AM   #6
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How great azalea!
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Originally posted by azalea
Also, before I begin the intro proper, I'll post a link to this thread, which contains discussion about this chapter, Eol in particular. [
I was a bit confused since I knew I had posted about El before, but apparently not in that thread. So here is another thread on the subject El.

Another info: There's a chapter named 'Maeglin' in HoME 11, which among other things says that JRRT at some stage made El a former captive of Angband (thence the term Dark Elf), where he learned much of his smithcraft. The idea was later abandoned.

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Wasn't Trin's sword made by Eol?
Yes and no. El made Anglachel, but it was Beleg who first wielded it. Trin killed Beleg with that sword, but later it was forged anew for him in Nargothrond and became Gurthang.

Will post more later.
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Old 11-15-2003, 01:56 PM   #7
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Thanks for that link, Artanis! I didn't remember that one.

I read the stuff I could find about Meglin in I think it was HoME 2, 4, and 5 (IIRC -- I haven't found that notebook yet), but never got up to 11. That Angband incident certainly would have helped me have a firmer perspective on why Eol was the way he was.
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Old 11-15-2003, 06:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by azalea
Interesting passage: "he devised a metal as hard as the steel of the Dwarves" [is mithril the steel of the Dwarves? I always forget] and calls it galvorn, "for it was black and shining like jet." It is thin and supple, yet resistant to blades and darts. Do we ever hear of this again? I don't remember it, and it doesn't appear in this ch. again. Are we told this just for our own info? While interesting, it doesn't really figure into the story of Maeglin as I can see.
Maeglin learned everything that his father and the Dwarves could teach him about smithcraft. One would think that Maeglin also knew how to make this new kind of metal that his father had invented, and that he used this in his work in Gondolin, where he forged weapons and armour, thus increasing the strength of the city.
Quote:
Eol is described as grim -- "his eyes could see deep into shadows and dark places." Does this just mean his eyes have adjusted to life in the dark, or is there also a hint of his being able to see beyond what is there, in a "foresight" or "farsighted" kind of way?
I hold to the first, at least I don't recall any incident where El seems to be foresighted.
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Was it wrong of him to use them to get her to his house?
I would say no, not if she afterwards was free to leave. But I would say yes if he had kept her there with him by force, which I think he did not.
Quote:
was he a "bad guy?"
El, and also Maeglin, are such interesting characters. It is said that El is "a tall Elf of a high kin of the Teleri, noble though grim of face". I wonder why he felt so ill at ease in Doriath, and why he came to dislike the sunlight. He must have felt really bad about living in Doriath since he chose to go outside the girdle, into the lands now dominated by the Noldor, whom he disliked so much. Actually I see the El in Doriath much more as an outsider than a 'bad guy'. He is different, he doesn't fit in the template of how an Elf should be. Later he becomes more and more hung up in his hatred towards the Noldor, which in the end leads him into disaster. He made one major mistake: He took a Noldo as wife, and moreover one who was of close kin and friendship to Fanor's sons, who held the lands about just outside his doorstep. Not a wise move.

Ah, I could write much more about El, but right now I am too sleepy ....
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Old 11-16-2003, 07:43 AM   #9
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Lovely introduction, azalea! (and very funny)
Quote:
Eol is described as grim -- "his eyes could see deep into shadows and dark places." Does this just mean his eyes have adjusted to life in the dark, or is there also a hint of his being able to see beyond what is there, in a "foresight" or "farsighted" kind of way?
I think it refered to his adjusting to a life in darkness. His home seemed quite dark and shadowy and if he didn't like coming out in the sun, I suppose one probably develops good night-vision. If he had any good foresight, I doubt he would have married Aredhel or he might have suspected Maeglin's wish to do a runner.
Quote:
I certainly wouldn't want him for a husband, but I think it's her fault if she didn't want to stay there. And if he was that bad, why have a child with him, why not leave? She's too flightly IMO. It's her constant wish to be elsewhere than she is that leads to each step to the ulimate point where the ball of destruction gets rolling, so to speak.
Aredhel had a 'wanderer's heart' so to speak. She didn't seem to be able to settle down somewhere for long, in a way that was just asking for trouble since everywhere she went, she was met with restrictions and borders. In a way I can understand her wish to be free, in another way I think she should have considered that before she settled with El. Of course, that's easy for me to say since I know the consequences of her actions. Maybe she really thought she could settle with El forever. And maybe she would have been able to do so if El hadn't guarded her the way he did.
Quote:
Two restrictions are placed on Aredhel, that she must shun the daylight (I'm not clear on the reason, other than he chose to do that and wanted her to also), and she must not seek any of the Noldor. This is somewhat understandable, given his attitude (someone asked, so why did he marry her, if he hated them so much?), so she should have either stuck with her agreement, or not married him, IMO.
I think she had to shun the daylight because his life was mostly nocturnal. I suppose it stands to reason because what sort a marriage would it be if your wife lives in sunlight and naps when you are awake during the night? (Of course I realise this reason may not fit Elves that much as I believe I heard they don't sleep as we do, but it sounded good. ) I think in a way El associated the sun with the Noldor, and with all the changes he didn't like. The sun had, after all, risen when the Noldor entered Middle-earth and the eternal starry night of the Elves was broken by it. It was obvious that El didn't like the Noldor and probably wished the Noldor hadn't come. Therefore he probably relocated to places away from 'civilisation' where he would be least likely to meet them and where he could live in the twilight that had been before the coming of the sun. Just a thought, though.
Quote:
Curufin claims Eol "stole" Aredhel -- what the hey...? What does he know about their relationship, and she's been with Eol for years and had a kid w/ him! It's not like she couldn't have left before! Then Curufin says he "may not slay him AT THIS TIME. WHAT!?! No wonder he didn't like them!
I think the 'stealing of Aredhel' refers to the fact that he married her without the consent of her kindred. I forget- did Aredhel and Maeglin meet Curufin on their way to Gondolin? I haven't got the Sil here to check. If so, there's no telling what Aredhel told Curufin over El. And the fact that Aredhel was running away from El and that he was chasing her must have given Curufin not quite so possitive an idea about El. Also, I think Curufin probably regarded El as a 'second class' Elf so to speak. I doubt he approved of the marriage, so that could explain why he was so rude. Not that El was that polite either, if I remember correctly. Curufin may have wished to kill El as a wish to defend his kin's (Aredhel's) honour and life.
Quote:
Uh, was there no better way to execute him than to throw him off the cliff? But we get the foreshadowing, as Eol lays the curse on his son.
I agree, it seems needlesly barbaric of the Gondolindrim.
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Idril is the only sane one, IMO, and mistrusts Maeglin, all the others think he's great.
I think Maeglin was indeed great and that the people of Gondolin weren't wrong to like him for that. Turgon probably would see past any flaw Maeglin might have had since he was the only child and living memory Turgon had of his beloved sister. Idril probably saw Maeglin more clearly because the 'flaw' in Maeglin ( that was the very cause of the downfall of Gondolin) concerned her directly and none other in Gondolin. If Maeglin hadn't desired her, she might have not have seen him any different than all the other did.
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Old 11-16-2003, 07:46 AM   #10
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continued..

Quote:
Further, I asked about when this chapter was written. Was it necessary to give quite so much backstory on Maeglin? Would the text have been better spent giving us a little more motivation for his evil deeds later? What ultimately is the reason he's such a baddie -- is it nature, nurture, or both (and what specifically of the nurture part was it, if that's your answer?)
I think the backstory gives as good an insight in Maeglin's character than a motivation of his deeds could have done. In the end I don't think he was bad; he had feelings for his cousin that he shouldn't have had, that's true. But he knew it was unrequited and he never acted upon it until Morgoth caught him. I think that does speak for him in a way. Who could have guessed that his desire for Idril could have led to such consequences? In a way the downfall of Gondolin was unavoidable from the moment Morgoth ensnared Maeglin, maybe Maeglin wanted to do some damage control to save at least Idril, the one he loved, from the ruin.
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Old 11-16-2003, 01:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by azalea
... Aredhel secretly calls him Lomin, "Child of the Twilight." Is night considered evil by Tolkien and/ or the elves? (I mean, why should darkness indicate badness when the elves themselves were of the time before the sun and moon?)
I don't think night is considered bad in itself, but night was unsafe and threatening because of the servants of Morgoth who preferred darkness and was most likely to come forth in the night. This was one of the reasons why the Valar devised the sun and the moon, to check the evil deeds of Morgoth. I also have a feeling that in Tolkien's universe the well-being of Elves and Men is dependent of light. In absense of light the influence of Morgoth on people's hearts and minds would grow stronger, and their courage and will would wither.
Quote:
Finally his dad gives him the name Maeglin, meaning "Sharp Glance," because "his thought could read the secrets of hearts." Where did this ability to see past certain facades come from
It is similar to Galadriel's ability too see into the hearts of people and read their mood and purposes. I don't really see anything special in this, it is one of Maeglin's skills, something he does better than other Elves, in the same way as his smithcraft is outstanding.
Quote:
We are told of Maeglin's interest in the fact that Turgon has only one child, a daughter (Idril)
And this is interesting, because it makes me think that Maeglin already at that time saw the possibility of getting a high position within Gondolin as Turgon's sister-son, and become Turgon's heir. So perhaps it wasn't only discontent with his present life that drove him forth from Nan Elmoth.
Quote:
Maeglin and Eol argue because Eol won't let him see his mother's kin. This causes a major rift between the two.
El is from here on behaving against his wits, imo. Either he could not have known his son at all, despite their frequent journeys together and their shared interest in the smithies, or else El was too enmeshed in his hatred against the Noldor that he didn't see clearly. How could he expect Maeglin to stay in Nan Elmoth all his life? He should have understood that his strict commands to his son would only lead to rebellion. Maeglin was his father's son in more than one respect.
Quote:
Curufin claims Eol "stole" Aredhel -- what the hey...? What does he know about their relationship, and she's been with Eol for years and had a kid w/ him! It's not like she couldn't have left before! Then Curufin says he "may not slay him AT THIS TIME. WHAT!?! No wonder he didn't like them!
Curufin behaves like a jerk at this point (as he always seem to do ) Though he may have a point in that El took Aredhel to wife without the leave of her people, I have no doubt that he looked on El as a lesser Elf, not worthy to be a husband of a Noldorin lady. If Curufin and his brothers thought that Aredhel was held in Nan Elmoth against her will, why didn't they do something to get her out? She did after all disappear while living in their realm as their guest. So I think Curufin's words about stealing was just a mockery. And Curufin has got no reason whatsoever to talk about slaying. El is speaking and behaving corteously at the moment, despite his true feelings.

I do think Curufin and his brothers knew about El and his relationship with Aredhel, El must have been well known to Fanor's sons since he often travelled through their lands to the Dwarves. Curufin observes something: El is so desperate that he is in fact travelling in broad daylight. That says a lot about the strenght of his feelings.

This little encounter between El and Curufin is significant in more than one way. If El had not been delayed by Curufin, he would probably have catched up on Aredhel and Maeglin before they got into Gondolin.
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Old 11-16-2003, 02:07 PM   #12
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Great introduction, azalea!

There are lots of things to comment in this chapter, but I have to reread it first. Now, I only want to point that

Quote:
They have a son, who Eol won't give a name for twelve years (gee, thanks dad ), but Aredhel secretly calls him Lomin, "Child of the Twilight." [...] Finally his dad gives him the name Maeglin, meaning "Sharp Glance," because "his thought could read the secrets of hearts."
can be something to do with what it's said in the chapter "Of names" in WOTJ. I cannot remember it well, but I'm sure there will be some way for explaning those "unnamed twelve years"...
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Old 11-16-2003, 02:43 PM   #13
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And may they never meet

It just struck me that both El and Caranthir had excessive dealings with the Dwarves in Nogrod and Belegost. It doesn't say that Caranthir ever went to visit the Dwarves in their homes, but if he did the Dwarves would be likely to take care to not invite him and El at the same time.
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Old 11-17-2003, 08:39 PM   #14
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Azalea, great Introduction! El and Maeglin have interested me since I first read the Sil, since IMHO they are the outstanding examples of evil among the Elves, saving Fanor and his sons. I have the strong impression that Maeglin was predisposed to betray Turgon and Gondolin because of his unrequited love for Idril. Idril, it seems to me, knew of the "flaw" in Maeglin in the same way that anly mortal woman (I am told) can sense sexual interest in seemingly unresponsive men. Perhaps she caught him looking at her too long or too intently. I note the reference to his interest in Idril before he had ever met her. Perhaps his ambition was at work here, as well as his lust? As for El, he seems to be the classic controlling husband, cutting her off from her family to isolate her, the better to control her. They are usually jealous, possessive, and tend to brood.
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Old 11-19-2003, 02:54 PM   #15
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I note the reference to his interest in Idril before he had ever met her. Perhaps his ambition was at work here, as well as his lust?
I thought so too at my first reading, that he already then saw her as a way to get power in Gondolin. But I don't think so anymore. he knew well enough that he could never marry her, because they were too closely related. It complicated things for him when he actually met her and discovered her beauty, and was enamoured by it.
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Old 11-20-2003, 04:15 PM   #16
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Thanks, everyone! Some great points have been made!
Sorry I haven't replied in a couple of days, I've been too engrossed in viewing my TT EE *raps self on knuckles*
I have found my notebook, and I'll post the bits of extra info when I have time.

Re: Maeglin wanting Idril -- my thought about his initial interest was that he thought he could become the heir to the throne, because wasn't it a fact that males were generally the recipients of that honor? He may have thought that by getting on Turgon's good side, he'd get to inherit the throne. But then his lust for Idril caused him to think even further, that he might "get" her after he became king, and because he'd be king, no one would be able to say anything about it (or something like that).

Attalus, your post reminded me of another who secretly desired both a plum position in a kingdom, and to possess the young royal maiden of said kingdom -- Wormtongue. He is of course more wretched and, errr...ugly-sounding than Maeglin, but could be compared in that he has a skill ("wizard-craft") similar to the way Maeglin has a skill ("dwarf-craft") that allows him to get to a position in the graces of the king, and yet feels no true and pure loyalty to that king, and ends up betraying the kingdom, partly in hopes of getting the woman he desires. Just an interesting comparison that entered my mind as I read your post about Idril.
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Old 11-20-2003, 07:06 PM   #17
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True enough. There is also the example of Celegorm and Curufin kidnapping Luthien to get power in Gondolin.
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Old 11-20-2003, 07:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Attalus, your post reminded me of another who secretly desired both a plum position in a kingdom, and to possess the young royal maiden of said kingdom -- Wormtongue. He is of course more wretched and, errr...ugly-sounding than Maeglin, but could be compared in that he has a skill ("wizard-craft") similar to the way Maeglin has a skill ("dwarf-craft") that allows him to get to a position in the graces of the king, and yet feels no true and pure loyalty to that king, and ends up betraying the kingdom, partly in hopes of getting the woman he desires. Just an interesting comparison that entered my mind as I read your post about Idril.
Interesting comparison, azalea!
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Old 11-21-2003, 01:51 PM   #19
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But then his lust for Idril caused him to think even further, that he might "get" her after he became king, and because he'd be king, no one would be able to say anything about it (or something like that).
No, I don't think he planned to get Idril that way, not before it was proposed to him by Morgoth. He did want power in Gondolin, yes, but he was entitled to it also, by his close relationship with Turgon. To have ambitions is not a bad thing.

It seems like Maeglin's course was set out from the day he arrived in Gondolin. On that day he first saw Idril and was obsessed by her beauty, on that day his father tried to kill him, but ended up killing his mother instead. I cannot help feeling a little sorry for him.
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Old 12-01-2003, 01:59 AM   #20
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He did want power in Gondolin, yes, but he was entitled to it also, by his close relationship with Turgon. To have ambitions is not a bad thing.
Entitled to power by relation? You go down a dangerous road with that reasoning. All signs point to elvish society being based on the appreciation of individual merit, and you certainly can't claim that his skills weren't appreciated. (FYI, I believe that the one person who had more respect than him is meant to be Tuor, who married Idril and was Turgon's second in command)

The very fact that Maeglin did desire that sort of power says to me that he was already twisted and corrupt. The desire for power and domination is from Melkor rather than any good elven impulse.
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