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Thread: Something non-understandable???

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Aule began this thread with the following post.
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Quote:
In the spring of the year after Níniel conceived, and she became wan and sad; and at the same time there came to Ephel Brandir the first rumours that Glaurung had issued from Nargothrond.


What did Tolkien mean by this???


Bugfeanor replied

Well, Aule, I think that Nienor-Niniel had some sort of premonition; something inside told her that what had happened was very, very wrong!!!
Quote:
Quote:
In the spring of the year after Níniel conceived, and she became wan and sad; and at the same time there came to Ephel Brandir the first rumours that Glaurung had issued from Nargothrond.
What did Tolkien mean by this???
The above quote can be found seven or eight pages before the end of Chapter 21 of The Silmarillion. It means one of the Tolkiens tried to put too much in one sentence. It is merely setting in time, when Glaurung issued from Nargothrond.
I still don´t get it
Quote:
In the spring of the year after Níniel conceived, and she became wan and sad; and at the same time there came to Ephel Brandir the first rumours that Glaurung had issued from Nargothrond.

When I read this I interpretted as meaning that Niniel was with child and wanning referring to the birth of the child. I don't recall any mention of Turin's heir so perhaps the infant died which would have been cause for Niniel's sadness. All this happening when Glaurung makes his appearance and reveals that Niniel is indeed, Nienor, Turin's sister. And we all know how well Turin took that bit of news. If Niniel did have a child by Turin, then this would make it even more difficult for Turin to cope with.
This is just a guess, mind you. I will do some more digging to see if I have anything here that will support my theory.
Hmmmmm, reminds me a bit of a legend with king who found himself in the same situation.
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It is merely setting in time, when Glaurung issued from Nargothrond.

That, too, is a possibility. I believe it was the year following the marriage of Turin and Niniel that Glaurung revealed this lovely little secret.
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When I read this I interpretted as meaning that Niniel was with child and wanning referring to the birth of the child. I don't recall any mention of Turin's heir so perhaps the infant died which would have been cause for Niniel's sadness.
Niniel/Nienor was pregnant with Turins child when Glaurung told them they where brother and sister, i think that was the main reason she trew herself of the cliff.

So I guess what it all means is:
1. It was springtime
2. Niniel was feeling ill during her pregnancy (mayby it was a sort of premonition as bugy says, maybe it was really bad morningsickness)
3. People said Glaurung had left Nargothrond.

[Redigert den 4/10/2003 av Amarië]
Grondy is right, I believe; it is just setting the time.
Wasn't Nieniel still pregnant when she drowned? That was why the baby was never born.
Yes that's what I thought i said two posts ago, but Ally said it in a clearer way than I did. Smile Smilie
It's such a sad story.. Very Sad Smilie
Yes, Nieniel was in a family way when she took her dive as Amarië and Allyssa have said. The wanness very well may have been caused by morning sickness, while the sadness was caused by Turin being unavailable to bring her ice cream and pickles or to share the wealth of her burden.

The above plus Tolkien's setting the time of the ocurrance is why I said JRRT or young Christopher tried to say too much in too few words. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie

[Edited on 5/10/2003 by Grondmaster]
I tend to agree with Rednell on this one: it seems as if Nieniel was stricken with something like depression. In my readings of classical literature and such, the Brits had a tendency to show characters exhibiting physical signs of a problem for something that is wrong spiritually. Turin didn't know he married his sister and conceived a child with her but her body knew and so had something happen to try to tell her. But Grondy's probably right, one of the Tolkiens meshed the two ideas together in a single sentence.
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it seems as if Nieniel was stricken with something like depression. In my readings of classical literature and such, the Brits had a tendency to show characters exhibiting physical signs of a problem for something that is wrong spiritually.
That was always the impression I had when reading that piece too. As a reader you know something is dreadfully wrong, so it is easy to overlook the fact that Nieniel is sad rather than looking forward to the birth of her child.

Don't forget, also, that prior to meeting Turin, Nieniel had forgotten her whole past. To lose your identity would take some getting over, and though someone might get over the initial shock fairly quickly, there would always be a questioning of who you are lingering behind. This latter doubt most likely would cause depression over the course of a year or so. If the same thing happened to me, I think I would feel guilty at finding love, knowing I could well be married to someone else somewhere.

As for the rest of the sentence... Like Grondy suggests, Tolkien was giving us the information of two sentences in one. I think you will find this quite a lot in the Silmarillion. Take for instance my all time favourite Silmarillion paragraph composed of four sentences....
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The sons of Hador were Galdor and Gundor; and the sons of Galdor were Hurin and Huor; and the son of Hurin was Turin the Bane of Glaurung; and the son of Huor was Tuor, father of Earendil the Blessed. The son of Boromir was Bregor, whose sons were Bregolas and Barahir; and the sons of Bregolas were Baragund and Belegund. The daughter of Baragund was Morwen, the mother of Turin, and the daughter of Belegund was Rian, the mother of Tuor. But the son of Barahir was Beren One-hand, who won the love of Luthien Thingol's daughter, and returned from the dead; from them came Elwing the wife of Earendil, and all the Kings of Numenor after.
Genious or jumble???? In my opinion genius. In just four sentences he manages to mention:-

The names of 21 people and 21 different relationships between those people.
The fact that Turin was the Bane of Glaurung.
That Beren had only one hand, and that he managed to return from the dead.
That they were the descendants of a line of kings.

I challenge anyone else to manage so much in just four sentences.
That is genius for sure, Val! And I'm curious who would take such a task ...
Val's paragraph sounds a lot like the "begats" in Genesis 5 of the Bible or more like The Gospel According to Matthew 1.1-17.
I have a question about the Silmarillon that is off the topic from the one which began this thread; so I hope its okay to post it here.

I am reading the Silmarillion and am on the chapter entitled, "Of the Sindar". I speaks of the Naugrim helping King Thingol to build his stronghold of Menegroth. the Thousand Caves. Within this stronghold was carved pillars, lanterns of gold hung from the carved boughs which looked like trees, etc. My problem is that I cannot find this place listed on the map at the back of my book. I can find Mount Dolmed and Belegost, which is where the dwarves that helped Thingol carve this lovely place came from. Am I missing something? I'm trying to take this story slowly and trace its unfolding on the map that came with the book, in hopes that it will help me to follow this complex story. I'd appreciate any help on this topic. Thank you!
Menegroth is located in Doriath, not in the Ered Luin, like Belegost and Nogrod. It lies somewhere in Doriath, next to the Esgalduin. I have seen maps of Doriath with Menegroth on. I don't know what map you are using, but best is to use the Atlas of Middle-Earth.
Thanks Virumor. That helps quite a bit as I can find Doriath on this map (its attached to the book.) I will make it a point to purchase an Atlas of Middle Earth in the near future. But that brings up another question (isn't that the way things go?)...what is this HOME book that I heard people referring to? It sounds like a helpful book, but I'm not sure what to search for.

Thanks again Virumor!
The History of Middle-earth by JRR Tolkien.

Either three massive volumes or hundreds of smaller books...... lots of information about everything - life, the universe...... Very much a reference book though. Val is the authority on this. He'll tell you about Morgoth's Ring etc.

Thanks for the reply Vee. At least now I know what to look for when surfing around Amazon.com. And I was tempted to ask Val the question about Menegroth, as I know he really knows his way around the Sil. But I read where he's rather busy in his personal life and thought I'd best not pick on him. Besides, its nice to hear from others...you all have your wisdom to share!
Hi Terrijayne.

The Atlas of Middle Earth which the others have refered to is not actually part of HOME, or for that matter written by Tolkien. It is a very detailed and wonderful book by Karen Wynn Fonstad. I think the reference number for it is ISBN 0-618-12699-6.

Another good reference book is The Complete Guide to Middle Earth by Robert Foster ISBN 0-04-803001-5. It is more of an encyclopedia than an atlas though.
Thanks Val...I'll look both those books up on the internet. The ISBN number really helps to find things right away. Have a good one!
If you have a map of Beleriand, you can just about pinpoint Menegroth in central Dorioth on the south side of the Esgalduin River where it makes its westerly bend towards the Sirion River. Teacher Smilie
I think the line also ties in nicely with the Dragon's words to Níniel: 'But the worst of all his deeds thou shalt feel in thyself.'

An interesting look at various versions (not intended as exhaustive)

Turambar And The Foalóke (The Book of Lost Tales)
In the earliest version of the story it is not said Níniel conceived a child by Turambar: 'Like a king and queen did Turambar and Níniel become, and there was song and mirth in those glades of their dwelling, and much happiness in their halls.' And Níniel conceived* (*added in pencil later)

The Earliest 'Silmarillion' (HME IV)
Tolkien again added the detail: 'He marches with his men, and Níniel foreboding evil rides with him,* (added here: though she is with child) till they can see the burning track of Glórung,...'

The Grey Annals (War of the Jewels)
Year 499: 'Níniel conceived in the spring of this year, and became wan and sad. At the same time there came to Ephel Brandir the first rumours that Glaurung had issued from Nargothrond.

The Narn (Unfinished Tales)
'Spring came hopefully, and men sang at their work. But in that spring Níniel conceived, and she became pale and wan, and all her happiness was dimmed. And soon there came strange tidings...'
Thanks for the comparitive of the versions, Galin. By looking at them, I have deduced that Tolkien was saying basically the same thing in all of them. The message was that Niniel had Turambar's child in her belly, and Glaurang was making mischief nearby at the same time.

Yep most definitely, Niniel was pregnant and deep down she knew something was amiss. The second part of that sentence, about Glaurung, is self explanatory.