Login | Register
 
Message Board | Latest Posts | Your Recent Posts | Rules

Thread: Greatest Deed

Is this discussion interesting? Share it on Twitter!

Bottom of Page    Message Board > The Lord of the Rings > Greatest Deed   [1] [2] >>
I thought of this yesterday. Which deed in the Sil and LoTR do you think is the greatest. We talk a lot about Frodo and the Ring, but what of the other brave acts that others did?

Beren and Luthien taking the jewels from Morgoth's crown. Turin slaying the dragon. Elendil sailing across the sea to plead with the Valar. Isildur saving a fruit from the Tree. Gil-Galad and Elendil wrestling with Sauron.

The list goes on and on, is their one heroic act that stands out above the rest?
Good question, Stonehelm. I always thought that Merry striking the Nazgul's leg in order to save Eowyn was very heroic. Especially since hobbits were not raised to be warriors. I think his devotion to Eowyn gave him the determination to overcome his natural fears. To me this was Merry's defining moment in the books, the moment when he grew beyond his hobbit upbringing.

For Pippin it was when he saved Faramir from being roasted and toasted during Denthor's meltdown.
I think you have named most of my favourites, Stoney, though it was Earendil who sailed into the West, not Elendil.

One you have missed is Fingolfin's single combat against Morgoth. It always used to be my favourite heroic act, but in recent years I have come to believe Fingolfin acted out of grief and dispair as much as bravery. To name one act, I think I would have to go with Beren and Luthien's quest to retrieve a Silmaril from Morgoth's crown.
How about Lúthien and Huan entering Angband in order to rescue Beren? Their battle on the bridge against the werewolves and Sauron certainly wasn't for the meek-at-heart.
Aye aye.(that was my pirate talk if your wondering)
Another one is when Echtelion, guarding Gondolin during the siege ,slays Gothmog Lord of the Balrogs.
Earendil, that's right, I always get them mixed up.

I think we can add Gandalf's stand against the Balrog on the bridge of Khazad-Dum to our list. That was a deed that not many could achieve.

But personally I agree with Grondy. I think the quest and acts that followed by Beren and Luthien overshadow many others. They got the better of Morgoth and Sauron, no one but the Valar were able to that.
One of my favorites was when Fingon rescued Maedros from Thangorodrim. When he found Maedros and it looked like rescue was impossible, Fingon was prepared to shoot him with an arrow to end his suffering.
It is difficult to take just one 'deed' and say this is the greatest. There are many acts of heroism in Tolkien's books so here's one Ithink is an act of heroism, maybe not the greatest, but heroic nonetheless.

At the Council of Elrond Frodo steps forth and says he will take the Ring to Mordor. He knows little of the evils of Sauron, knows little about the other races, knows almost nothing about the rest of Middle-earth yet he (maybe in ignorance) says he will do this thing. From then on his life focuses on one thing - to get the Ring to Mount Doom and destroy it. He is no warrior, he is a hobbit. He has no training in fighting, yet he volunteers to do this. Other than BIlbo, he was the only one to volunteer.

I think that was pretty heroic.
I've got two favourite ones: Finwe, the only one to stay and face Melkor in front of Formenos (while Ungoliant was with him! that must've been scary); and Feanor, surrounded by Balrogs (shadows & flames), yet not giving up, fighting til the end!
Beren and Luthien take the title for me.
Huan fulfilling his doom against a silmaril-enraged Carcaroth always seemed a good one to me.
I think that Peter Jackson making those movies was a very heroic deed.

Ok seriously, I think the ride of the hosts of Gondor and Rohan to battle against The Dark Lord, in his own land and challenging the might of Sauron just to give Frodo and Sam the little gleam of hope was very heroic. And so was the ascent of Sam and Frodo to the cracks of Doom.
I think Glorfindel's suicidal attack on the Balrog to help his king escape was very heroic, but it was a close draw between this and Beren accepting the Silmaril quest.
Perhaps Gandalf slaying the Balrog on the peak of zirakzigil and also dieing?

Greatest of all was probably Melkor destroing the Pillars of light Illuin and ormal or twisting the elves into orcs or the confromtation between Tulkas and melkor orn melkor distroying the pillars of light. None however compare to Eru' changing of the world at the end of the second age.
Although the deeds you mention would take some doing, it is kind of subjective. The original question was...
Quote:
The list goes on and on, is their one heroic act that stands out above the rest?


"Heroic act" implies bravery, attempting something against overwhelming odds, continuing even when personal death and defeat seems to be the only outcome. Beren and Luthien, for example, faced the might of Morgoth, in his own tower; Fingolfin fought him in single combat. They acted against overwhelming odds.

Reshaping the World was a massive feat. Beren would not have been able to do it. Gandalf would not have been able to do it. Only Eru could manage that (although I would argue that it was within Sauron's capabilities because he actually set forth the chain of events that resulted in it happening... Was it part of his game-plan to have this happen and isolate the Valar for the whole of the next age?) For Eru, however, how much of a challenge was it? Maybe it took no more effort than it takes me to fold a newspaper.

Again, Melkor destroying the lamps was not difficult. The wonderful new element he had provided the Valar to build them from was nothing more than ice. They were doomed from the word go.

Gandalf fighting a Balrog? Again they were contempories. Both were Maiar.

None of these compare to a small hobbit taking the ring to Mordor, or Beren and Luthien stealing a silmaril from Morgoth's crown.
Sam managing to resist eating all of the lembas on his journey to Mordor with his master, was very heroic...

Seriously, I'd say Beren and Lúthien although they did not really have to face the might of Morgoth. Morgoth merely took away Lúthien's disguise, but there it ended : he got beguiled by Lúthien's beauty (and seductive dance) and got ensnared by his own malevolence. That certainly would not have been the case with the ice-cold Sauron.

Anyway, the fact that Beren accepted the quest to retrieve one of the Silmarils, was already heroic.

I never found much heroic about Fingolfin vs Morgoth : it was just the act of a desperate King wishing to perish in style (which he obviously did, surprisingly). This act was about as heroic as Fëanor swearing his Oath and follow Morgoth to Beleriand to retrieve the Silmarils.

To me, heroic acts are not done when one's mind is clouded by a craze or by despair, but when one completely knows what one is doing : which was the case with Finrod slaying the werewolf with his teeth; Gandalf taking on the Balrog; Elendil and Gil-galad toppling Sauron; Isildur saving a fruit from Nimloth, etc.

Toklkien however states in one of his letter that Frodo actually failed in his goal. Although he managed to take the ring by the time he was there he was pretty feeble and would have no recolection of the event afterwards.
Bilbo had a more hard quest with smaug than frodo did with the ring, at least frodo only had to go to mount doom not into Barad-dur itself.
Quote:
Bilbo had a more hard quest with smaug than frodo did with the ring

Well I am sure that is true in Toklkien's books, but if you talk about Tolkien's books you need tell us what you base this very odd view on. I'd rather talk to Smaug and be manipulated for a few minutes than to have a piece of Sauron around my neck, eating at my mind and soul day and night.

Quote:
Toklkien however states in one of his letter that Frodo actually failed in his goal. Although he managed to take the ring by the time he was there he was pretty feeble and would have no recolection of the event afterwards.

Yes, he failed in destroying the Ring, but if it hadn't been for him, the Ring would never have gotten that far at all.
Ah well, I actually prefer 'Toklkien' to 'Tolkein'.
For me, as a Finrod fan i'd say his sacrifice was a very heroic deed, but not the MOST heroic.

Frodo's a hero for sure, but I'd say Sam's possibly more heroic than his master. He stuck with frodo the whole way, didn't he? Ignorance helped his courage a bit maybe, but still...
spelling mistake people, nothing more.
Luthien and Beren were definitely heroes, too. Just think about an elven princess defying Morgoth, who was more powerful than her (he had been a valar), and a human being fighting with Morgoth horrifying watchdog! Besides this, no one else, not even an entire army, had dared to go and take a silmaril from Morgoth's crown. But these two beings made it and they did those heroic deeds serving a high purpose.
I do those things before breakfast.
I only do six impossible things before breakfast, when I'm feeling things in my life have gotten boring or too hectic and I need a break. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
Oh, so you have a "Morgoth" of your own to fight before breakfast, Mir! A very ...heroic way to begin the day, isn't it? Smile Smilie
Quote:
Luthien and Beren were definitely heroes, too. Just think about an elven princess defying Morgoth, who was more powerful than her (he had been a valar)

Lúthien merely pioneered the lapdance, that's all.
Let me tell you something, Erebwen.

Miruvor = Morgoth in PT.
OK... but who is Lúthien then ?
According to Cloveress's assumption a few weeks back, that'd probably be me.
The Gaffer here.
Quote:
According to Cloveress's assumption a few weeks back, that'd probably be me.


Now the picture's really getting in my head... The Council Meetings must be filled with teeth grindings and threat mutterings and dagger glarings...
Nah, Miruvor is more like Saruman. Miruvor is Morgoth and Val is Luthien? Somehow I don't think that was what Mir had in mind.

Quote:
The Council Meetings must be filled with teeth grindings and threat mutterings and dagger glarings...

I don't know what the Meetings will be filled with, but I am not staying for the social bit after the next CM meeting, that's for sure..
Quote:
The Council Meetings must be filled with teeth grindings and threat mutterings and dagger glarings...

Well, there's not much difference with the meetings of the White Council then. I'd like to have seen the glares between Saruman & Galadriel, and the ironic glances between Saruman & Gandalf.
Of course. What did you expect from a council with both Morgoth and Luthien in it? And add the Gaffer and a Nazgul...
i think that one of the greatest deeds was when Eowyn killed the Lord of the Nazgul, no one has even gotten near him to take a swing (apart from Aragorn on Weathertop) but I think that that was a very great deed.
I have to go with the consensus, Beren and Luthien bearding the dragon in his den. I'd like to consider the whole tale as a single act of bravery, which would further elevate it, but if I have to focus on one event in it I'd say entering Angband itself, not to mention coming out alive -- with a Silmaril (and would have been more if Angrist had held; WTF was that crown made of in addition to iron?) Fingolfins duel with Morgoth is a good second though, whatever the circumstances. Desparation, IMHO, doesn't preclude bravery; it frequently motivates it, and this was the case with Fingolfin. Earendil sailing to the West isn't bad either though, and a step above even the trip his parents made, as they never returned from it, yet he went anyway from duty and need. Still, Beren and Luthien faced Morgoth and walked away with their price, and who else among Elves or Men can say the same?

As to Herr Virumor, it's nice to see the Society for Better Spelling and Grammar is making inroads and asserting our fearsome sway over additional sites. The BSG never sleeps, though we're frequently inebriated. ;-p We really need a winking raspberry; every site does.
Quote:
Still, Beren and Luthien faced Morgoth and walked away with their price, and who else among Elves or Men can say the same?

Húrin, in a bitter way.
Quote:
i think that one of the greatest deeds was when Eowyn killed the Lord of the Nazgul

I just think that the WitchKing had stretched his neck a bit too far there.
Nah, he'd just made the mistake of leaving his back open. Pretty foolish for a Nazgul lord, doncha think?
The greatest deed was Sam managing to kill an Orc in the Chamber of Mazarbûl. Amazing skill and agility, for such a fatty.

Killing the Witch-King was not impressive, but killing his mount was because it required skill, unlike with the Witch-King.
Playing devils advocate here: merely FACING a Nazgúl, much less the Witch-king himself, required both stamina and bravery. He drove the Defenders of Osgiliath before him. Continuing to stand after he just splintered your shield (and your shield arm) is more impressive still. But Lúthien still takes the prize, for me, dancing the sa'sara before Morgoth himself. ;-p
She did not do it out of stamina/bravery, she did it because she was desperate, because she had just lost everything. Ppl are able to do inexplicable things when they're with their backs against the wall.

For the same, Fingolfin trying to topple Morgoth cannot be regarded as a brave act. Great, yes, but not brave.

Lúthien was lucky not to have ended up in Angband's dungeons.

P.S. : it's Nazgûl. :-P
Oops. What can I say; I'm just now getting used to being able to cut and paste from charmap. I KNEW that, but didn't do it; after all, using the same character for Luthien AND Nazgul is just soooo convenient.

I still think desperate bravery counts as bravery though. Otherwise Fingolfin, Luthien and Eowyn just fall on their swords and get it over with.
Quote:
Otherwise Fingolfin, Luthien and Eowyn just fall on their swords and get it over with.

Well, Lúthien would fall on the dagger Angrist.. :-P
Better than falling on Curufin, eh? One can't help but wonder if Lúthiens tale to Doriath of what Curufin considered "courtship" contributed to Galadriels choosing Celeborn over his son....
Curufin's son was a might different sort from himself, y'know. Celebrimbor at least had the wisdom to turn to the house of Finarfin rather than stay with the accursed house of Feanor.
Actually it was not Curufin, but Celegorm who became enamoured with Lúthien, and wanted to force her to marry him by imprisoning her.

Curufin was already married at that point, as Celebrimbor was his son. Curufin was just the coward that shot Beren in the back after been humiliated by the latter. No wonder he, of all seven sons of Fëanor, was most alike to daddy.
And in the end, the "wisdom" of Celebrimbor deserted him, and with him died the House of Feanor. But my bad; I (obviously) confused the owner of the knife with the would be owner of Lúthien. Meanwhile, while Feanor can be called many things, I don't think "coward" is one of them.
I would say Turin slaying Morgoth himself is the greatest deed ever.
To me bravery and courage imply doing something that is totally out of your league in the first place. Many of those mentioned were trained to be brave or had strong strong and brave characters in the first place.
For me, although I wept and wept at many of the characters in all the books including Unfinished Tales and the Silmarillion-for me the absolute in the end bravest person is little Frodo Baggins of the Shire.
An unassuming Hobbit who is very gentle and kind, who cannot bear to even have a sword, who has compassion on a disgusting murderous Smeagel, who goes on and on and on even when he knows the Ring is taking him over, destroying him bit by bit. Even when he cannot anymore imagine the Shire and normal things, when despair and hideous images from the Eye of Sauron are his constant company, going on and on despite this-that to me is courage beyond understanding.
Watching the movies no matter whoelse and I loved them all, Aeowyn was a close second, no matter who they were, I always came back to thinking Frodo the bravest of t hem all.
  [1] [2] >>