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Just started to read the Silmarillion again. I wondered about a couple of things mentioned in Ainulindale:

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And many other things Il˙vatar spoke to the Ainur at that time...


Wonder what these be..

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...for to none but himself has Il˙vatar revealed all that he has in store, and in every age there come forth things that are new and have no foretelling, for they do not proceed from the past.


Hmmm. Things that happened in the third age perhaps? How many examples of such evens can we conjure up from the first two ages? Probably events associated with men?

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Then Il˙vatar arose, and the Ainur perceived that he smiled..
Then again Il˙vatar arose, and the Ainur perceived that his countenance was stern...
Il˙vatar arose a third time, and his face was terrible to behold.


I know that there've been a few discussions on this, but I just wondered: Eru becomes sterner each time because he probably percieves what Melkor and eventually Sauron would do? Things get worse and worse, don't they?

"Hmmm. Melkor is doing just what I want him to. He's the most powerful, he has a part of everything. He's providing the opposition... good, good. This can get interesting..."
"Oh, Melkor or should I say Morgoth and now Sauron is causing a lot of trouble.. no good no good. Someone has to control these people!"
"Evil has spread is out of hand!! That's it. Enough is enough. Time for some stern action..."

Views?
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"Hmmm. Melkor is doing just what I want him to. He's the most powerful, he has a part of everything. He's providing the opposition... good, good. This can get interesting..."
"Oh, Melkor or should I say Morgoth and now Sauron is causing a lot of trouble.. no good no good. Someone has to control these people!"
"Evil has spread is out of hand!! That's it. Enough is enough. Time for some stern action..."


That's exactly what I think happened.

And as for the foretelling what's in store business, isn't Mandos supposed to know all that is to be, too?
The short answer to the Mandos question is really the one that prompts it, and contained in the Silmarillion: the "music video" (what a visonary was our Professor!) the Ainur saw stopped short of the end, though even in the Silmarillion there's a theory on WHERE it stopped (I hold with the Atalante, which makes sense; after that the Valar were largely spectators anyway.) As to the other, I don't think Melkor or anything else ever surprised Eru, indeed, Eru specifically says this in the Ainulindale. However, that he was prescient of Melkors actions doesn't mean he approved. Much wisdom in that, IMHO. Given the vagueries of the editions, and not wanting to type it all yet again, I'll just say the basis of the former statement is the first paragraph of the section beginning with Erus statement following the PLAYING (not revelation) of the Ainulindale, his statement to and rebuke of Melkor, while the basis of the latter is the first paragraph of the following section.

Edit: don't you hate when that happens? Talk about getting it with both barrels. But MY post provided documentation, if only indirectly. ;-p Now, if you'll excuse me, a stunning Aussie just responded to my request she next appear in my "Happy Birthday, Texas!" thread appropriately dressed....
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And as for the foretelling what's in store business, isn't Mandos supposed to know all that is to be, too?

No :
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He forgets nothing; and he knows all things that shall be, save only those that lie still in the freedom of Il˙vatar.
(Valaquenta)

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Hmmm. Things that happened in the third age perhaps? How many examples of such evens can we conjure up from the first two ages? Probably events associated with men?

The Children of Il˙vatar, for one.
I found it confusing that Eru knows all that is and will be so why would he be surprised and angry at Melkor's actions?

I reconcile it by thinking that Eru did know all that would happen and what Melkor would do and it was all part of his plan for the unfolding of the world and its history. He never meant the world to be a paradise. He wanted his creations to learn and grow. He needed there to be conflict and chaos so that his 'children' would challenge their own limitations. I'm thinking that Eru was being 'parental' in his dealings with Melkor. Like a know-it-all father he knew Melkor was going to do something wrong but when it happened he was still annoyed, as fathers can be, so he played the 'stern father card' at Melkor. "Go tidy your room.... You're grounded for ten thousand years..."

Perhaps Eru's plan was not set in stone until the music was completed. Did Melkor have free will? Could he have repented and not disrupted the music? Maybe Eru had allowed for that to happen? It must be pretty boring knowing everything that is going to happen. You'd want some surprises, wouldn't you?

And Morambar... what is this with you and leggy blonde and stunning Aussies.... are you some sort of Adonis? Are the women of PT missing out on something here?
Aaah Vee.. the computer program analogy of mine from Eru's Thoughts thread. Fits in with what you're talking about...
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It must be pretty boring knowing everything that is going to happen. You'd want some surprises, wouldn't you?

The Vision of the Music of the Ainur is not what happened. It was merely a model that the Valar had to achieve. It was not included in the Music that Melkor was gonna trash everything most of the time, i reckon. If that was the case, the other Ainur wouldn't even have allowed Melkor to descend.

Of all Valar, Mandos seems to know not only the Vision, but also the actual (key) events that are going to happen (as the only one).

I don't think Eru knows everything that'll happen, as so much that happens depends on the choices of individuals, unless Eru had set the outcome of those choices too - which would destroy every notion of free will.
Eru only engineered it so that in the end 'good' would prevail over 'evil', because someone would in the end make the right choice.
Indeed, we seem to be once again drifting in the direction of Erus Thoughts; I still maintain that Eru can see all paths, and knows his creation well enough to know which they will take, while still allowing them to choose them freely. And that has less to do with determinism than human (and other) nature. When I reread the Narn in UT I was greatly struck by the tragic effects of the pride of Morwen, which in large part formed the pride of Turin, and all the horror that followed in his wake, despite the best intentions, can be laid at the feet of that pride. In particular, I recall the contrast Ulmos messengers to Orodreth see between the character of Turin and his cousin Tuor, both of whom they'd met (though the latter meeting was revised out of the Tuor tale.) Ulmo sends messengers to Nargothrond telling them to "cast down the stones of their pride" but Eru knew darn good and well how Turin would respond to that, and how the people of Nargothrond would receive that response.

As to the effects of Melkor on the Ainulindale, I had thought the Silmarillion stated the mightiest of the Valar came principally to prevent Melkors depradations, but, though I find nothing to this effect now, it seems eminently logical.

And Vee, well, as to what the Tolkienettes are missing, I leave that to their discretion. Note however that, as has always been so, my obsession with leggy girls, Aussie, blond or otherwise, is MINE. Thus it's only natural I was drawn to the Elizabethan sonnet, for it is the medium of unrequited Love. Sadly, I'm too tired to offer up another effort for my ladies fair at Planet Tolkien just now, but rest assured, our eligible paragons of feminine virtue are ne'er far from mine heart and mind . ;-)
Eru himself had planned out the themes of his world and the general path it would take (aka paradise to hardship, then finally to a hard won victory of good over evil). He planned for the Valar to take care of Arda. He made them as the "offspring of his thought", just as he made the Elves and Men. Now if the Valar were the "offspring of his thought", then everything in their nature would've been fashioned into them by Eru himself. Eru made Manwe's nature kind, Aule's nature eager, Ulmo's nature far-seeing, Mandos's nature grave. He also made Melkor's nature. How Melkor's nature can be described is complex. Eru did not put a strain of evil into Melkor. He did not mean for Melkor to be born as the Supreme Evil, but he did mean Melkor to have the potential to grow into the Supreme Evil. Thus the traits he put into Melkor such as passion and impatience were done so in great portions. He made all the Valar with desire, but only Melkor's desire was red-hot and easy to be warped into greed. All the Valar had great anticipation in the Music, but only Melkor felt that he had not done enough. And every Vala had great passion in their own jobs, but only Melkor's passion would lead him to think he alone could rule this world. In short, Eru made Melkor the "stray card" of the bunch. He made him greater than the others, but with his greatness came his fate to fall.

My own opinion in this matter is that Eru knew the main path Arda was going to go on. He knew how it would begin and he knows how it'll end. He sowed the seeds of all the main forces of the world in the beginning. But he did not know the details. He did not know every individual. He did not know if there would be a Feanor. He did not know how long Numenor would last. But he did know that no matter if Feanor existed or not, there would be dissent among the Eldar in Valinor anyway because of the presence of Melkor. And it wouldn't matter if Numenor lasts ten years or ten thousand years, because it is destined to fall to greed either way. Eru was not the controller of Fate or Destiny. He was just a planner of Arda and an observer to see how Fate would enact on his plans.
I tend to agree with you Cloveress, apart from...

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Eru was not the controller of Fate or Destiny. He was just a planner of Arda and an observer to see how Fate would enact on his plans.


He maybe let fate go in its own direction, but when he did not like the direction it was taking, he did nudge it back on course.

Regarding the wills of the Valar, I think they have to be free to do things beyond the fore-knowledge of Eru. Why else would he have created them? I don't think he intended Melkor to be so destructive. Simplistically, where each Valar appeared to have their own realm of expertize, Melkor's power was the ability to change and influence everyone elses realm. I think that was Eru's purpose for Melkor, ensuring Ea had a rich variety of form beyond which the other Valar would conceive without his aid. Unfortunately, this will to change the work of others was done in a destructive way rather than helpful. I do not think Eru anticipated this, and twice tried to guide Melkor back onto the path he had envisaged. The third time that Eru rises, he is terribly angry, but he does not put things to right as he did the first two times. The third time he rises, he causes the music to stop. Why is he so angry at this point? It can only be because his vision has not gone how he had planned.
I disagree: I think the vision, in the main, has gone as planned. In fact, I largely agree with Cloveress, except on the issue of knowing the details. Again, I think Erus anger at the third themes conclusion is due the fact witnessing the discord is a very different thing than anticipating it. I mean, whether you knew it was coming or not, wouldn't YOU be angry at that point? I think Eru knew all the details ahead of time, but that from Melkor down to the smallest virus their actions were free, the outcomes known, and each the agency by which Eru manifested his will without doing so directly or by constraint. Indeed, that's the principle difference between Morgoth and the Valar.

Lest this be taken the wrong way, no, I'm not forgetting Atalante, but recall there the Valar VOLUNTARILY relinquished their authority and placed the matter in Erus hands. It's always been my view they did so not because they were so in awe of Ar-Pharazon (which seems absurd) but because the prospect of annihilating the Dunedain was too horific to them. Genocide is the kind of thing we would expect of Morgoth, not the Lords of the West.
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I disagree: I think the vision, in the main, has gone as planned.

Then the Valar would've seen in the vision that Melkor was busy marring their works, destroying Illuin & Ormal, changing Quendi to Orcs, etc.

It's silly that the Valar would then for instance take a break after creating Almaren, when they had already seen in the vision that Melkor would trash their works.

The Valar have an imperfect memory of those parts of the vision they beheld, and Mandos doesn't spend all his time reeling off the entire history, past, present and future, of Ea; he delivers specific Dooms at the command of Manwe and no other. To say nothing of how strongly they felt their actions WERE predetermined -- by themselves.
How could the Valar have seen Morgoth trashing their works? I mean, do you really think it's something Morgoth would sing out for all to hear?
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The Valar have an imperfect memory of those parts of the vision they beheld, and Mandos doesn't spend all his time reeling off the entire history, past, present and future, of Ea

Well Melkor marring their works happened right in the beginning, while they're were labouring in Arda. Would be silly that they can't even remember the very beginning.

Or maybe that's because ManwŰ and others did not pay too much attention, as they were too busy trying to get an arm around the shoulder of their significant other in an inconspicuous way, while they were watching Eru's new blockbuster "Vision of the Music" in the "Timeless Halls" theatre.

Or perhaps they missed the beginning of the movie because they were getting popcorn and refreshments.

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I mean, do you really think it's something Morgoth would sing out for all to hear?

Why not, after all the other Ainur didn't react when Melkor put in thoughts of his own and started the discord.
Maybe the Ainulindale is a work in progress? I mean, why would ANY of the stuff Melkor did have been tolerated if the Valar knew it ahead of time? To say nothing of their efforts on Eas behalf; were they just playing out a script they read for Eru during the Ainulindale proper? "Sorry, Feanor, we have to release Morgoth now, because it was in the Music, and besides, he can't very well murder your father and take the Silmarils while captive, can he?"
Hi there! Do you mind if I join in? I started rereading the Silmarillion a few days ago, for the third time.
Not at all! Join in the discussion and WELCOME!

And Mor, as for it all being a script of Eru's, well, it may be. But I don't think the Valar knew Finwe was to be killed or anything like that. Their "roles" which they sang out and which they were conscious of were merely those of Arda (e.g. Yavanna's earth role, Varda's star role, Ulmo's sea role).
Mandos knew ("Not the first", he said to FŰanor when the latter was whining that he would be the first Elf to die), the other ones did not. But Mandos kept quiet about it, that's all.
Yes, but he would've known when he was singing the music, now would he? The Elves weren't even created then.
I do tend to see Mandos' role in that way until the vision of their song was taken away from the Valar in progress. After that he was as ignorant any of the rest of them, IMHO. As to the other, even knowing the naturalist parts of the mission amounts to the same thing; whether they know the actions of Morgoth or the Quendi or merely know how Feanor made the Silmarils from earth and light makes no difference. I'm warming to the idea of the Ainulindale being still sung in the Third Age.
They only knew for sure that in the end they would all face the forces of Darkness on the grim field of Vigrid, where good & evil would vanquish each other.

For ManwŰ would be devoured by Ungoliant, after which Tulkas would rip her asunder; for an unarmed Mandos would be assailed and finally defeated by a relentless Gothmog; for AulŰ would be overwhelmed by Morgoth's band of werewolves; for Ulmo would fall down, poisoned, after defeating Glaurung and Lˇrien after defeating Ancalagon, and ultimately OromŰ and Morgoth would kill each other after an epic struggle.

After all this the Balrogs would lash out their fiery whips and the whole of Arda would go down in flames.

It is written and foretold. Valarok.
I'll have to take your word on that; there's a whole lotta dead folks in there, most notably Ancalagon, Glaurung and Gothmog. Does their absence mean the good guys win? I just gotta get the rest of HoME, sigh.
The good guys have to win in the end. I just find it idiotic how good means completely good and bad means completely bad. The world doesn't function that way.
That's what is wrong with the real world and why it is fun to escape from it by reading books. Read Smilie
I dunno if I'd go so far as to say Tolkien did monolithic evil, except in extreme cases like Morgoth and Morgoth Jr. Unless we're gonna say Feanor was evil, but then he's not monolithically so either; he made the Silmarils but also authored the eponymous Oath; he defied the Valar, but he loved his father more than even the Silmarils for which he swore that Oath. Is Turgons prideful folly good, or his crafting of HIS Two Trees and Gondolin evil? Boromir? Denethor? I could go on, but you get the point. Monolithic evil, monolithic anything, went out with Greek tragedy for anyone over 8. If Tolkien did that we wouldn't all love him as we do, and people like me and Eruwen wouldn't write essays for school on him.
Concerning that Middle-Earth end times scenario, how could Mandos be defeated by a relentless Gothmog, Ulmo die after defeating Glaurung, and Lorien after defeating Ancalagon. I mean, they were all killed, and who knows what happens to them, dragons, Balrogs, orcs, and werewolves, after they die. You can't very well expect them to join in the second Song, so what does happen to them.
Ever heard of Ragnarok? It was a post made in jest, note the Valarok at the end.

Maybe I should've sticked to the one about the banana and the easter bunny. My bad.
I suppose that was a good tip, but some of us lack the linguistic abilities of Tolkien et al. I figured it was some obscure part of HoME I hadn't yet read. Though having Glaurung and our Thor kill each other off was a good clue, too, if we'd been paying attention. Never mind. :8)

Now, what's this about the Easter Bunny going bananas? Is that canon? ;-p
I saved the world from Ragnarok at the weekend! All praise to me!
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I saved the world from Ragnarok at the weekend! All praise to me!
Now might our Fluffy Goddess, may she live forever, do something about the state of things in the real world? (This is a rhetorical question, not an invitation to discuss our Fearless Leader Jumping Flame Smilie pushing us towards Armageddon.)
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(This is a rhetorical question, not an invitation to discuss our Fearless Leader pushing us towards Armageddon.)

Armageddon is something that I don't think anyone wants to talk about.
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Now might our Fluffy Goddess, may she live forever, do something about the state of things in the real world?


The state of things is improved merely by my presence.
Don't worry about Armageddon, Grondy.

I mean, didn't Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler save us from that cafuffle once? I take it they can do it again.
But who will save us from Liv Tyler?

"If I don't save the wee turtles, who will?"

"Ach, save me from the wee turtles!"

Oh, and, er... lessee, how to get back on topic... ... .... Gee, no Armageddon in the Silmarillion; how odd. Odder still that the Silmarillion is purely a history despite going beyond Quenta Silmarillion, while History of Middle-earth has all the Elven prophecy.
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Odder still that the Silmarillion is purely a history despite going beyond Quenta Silmarillion, while History of Middle-earth has all the Elven prophecy.

One of my favourites of those Elven prophecies is the following:
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For tis' said that ere the Great End come Melko shall in some wise contrive a quarrel between Moon and Sun, and Ilinsor shall seek to follow Urwendi through the Gates, and when they are gone the Gates of both East and West will be destroyed, and Urwendi and Ilinsor shall be lost. So shall it be that FionwŰ Urion, son of ManwŰ, of love for Urwendi shall in the end be Melko's bane, and shall destroy the world to destroy his foe, and so shall all things then be rolled away.

That can be found in "The Shaping of Middle-Earth", vol.IV in "The History of Middle-Earth".
That's why I chose that name.
Another of my favorites is:
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...but Turambar indeed shall stand beside FionwŰ in the Great Wrack,and Melko and his drakes shall curse the sword of Mormakil.

That can be found at the end of "Turambar and the FoalˇkŰ" in "The Book of Lost Tales 2", vol.II in "The History of Middle-Earth".
Nice ones, to be sure. Before Vir chimes in though, it does seem the whole "reproducing Valar" thing was ultimately dropped. I still maintain Fionwe is the same as Eonwe of the the Silmarillion, "herald of Manwe, whose might in arms is surpassed by none in Arda. " He's still there, but no longer Manwes son, at least not explicitly, probably due to the whole "taking on the limitations of the flesh" thing that continually rears its ugly head. It seems though that Morgoth can be killed, which makes the question of just HOW he dissipated his strength in the fabric of Arda. So, is cursing stackable or does it toggle? I mean, Morgoth has already targeted Turin once, with devastating effect, so what happens when he does it again?

"Wow, thanks, I feel much better now. I am Turin Turambar; you killed my whole @#$#in' family. Prepare to die."
Good one Morambar, but I think it should have been:
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"Wow, thanks, I feel much better now. I am Turin Turambar; you killed my whole @#$#in' family. Prepare to die. I am Turin Turambar; you killed my whole @#$#in' family. Prepare to die. I am Turin Turambar; you killed my whole @#$#in' family. Prepare to die."
Yes, and killing Morgoth is really gonna get his family back. Sheesh. Can't he just stay dead, like most dead usually do ? After all, he's kinda reunited with his family in Eru's Halls.

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It seems though that Morgoth can be killed, which makes the question of just HOW he dissipated his strength in the fabric of Arda.

I reckon once his body'd be destroyed in Valarok, that then he'd became some kind of sad forgotten lost spirit, Ó la Sauron after the destruction of the Ring.

Like Sauron, he'd become one of Casper's uncles (Morgoth'd become the fat one, Sauron the thin, sly one).
Well, close enough, Grondy; I figured ya'll could fill in the rest mentally. On a side note, for some reason all the ads are refusing to load, which I find terribly amusing. ;-p The bottom line on Sauron and Morgoth seems to be that to dominate the world they had to embrace it, become one with it, and thereby they made themselves vulnerable to death. Though for the Valar and Maiar in general that seems to be ultimately true as well; when they became "the Powers of the World" they they joined their two fates, and with the world they are destroyed, too, physically at least. Or such is my impression. Could be the Quendi aren't the only ones with a suspended sentence hoping Eru pulls their bacon out of the fire of the Great Wrack.
So Morgoth goes down, while taking everyone and everything with him. What a happy end.
Except Eru, and that's a pretty mammoth exception. All bets are off after the Great Wrack. ;-p
Well, except Eru and all spirits (Ainur and Atani) that stayed or ended up in his Halls.
True, but we don't KNOW what, if anything, becomes of them either. For the Atani all we know is that they do NOT abide with Mandos, and that their fate lies outside the world. How much farther, if any, it goes than that can't be said with certainty, though Tolkiens on view on mortality and metaphysics give us a clue.
What, pray, is Tolkien's view on mortality and metaphysics?
He was a practicing Catholic. To my mind, that offers much insight into the character of Manwe (symbolic of Michael,) Varda (symbolic of Mary) and Eonwe (symbolic of Gabriel, and these are just the ones clear to my non-Catholic eyes.) And it also offers some insight into his views on the fate of men. The most obvious influence is, of course, on that very same Ainulindale we were earlier discussing, where both evil and suffering are explained and reconciled with Erus vision without making Eru their author. ;-p
And I thought that Gandalf was the symbol of Michael, and Galadriel the symbol of Mary.. Tolkien's letters must've been wrong.
Well, sure, in the Trilogy. The Trilogy has a lot of elements from the Silm on a smaller scale, because, IMHO, Tolkien knew, deep down, that he'd NEVER have the Silm in the same kind of detail for publishing. So we get Glorfindel vs. Balrog---> Gandalf vs. Balrog; Fall of Gondolin---> Battle of the Pelennor (with admittedly different outcome, but the whole of Gondor seems modeled on the City of Seven Names.) Thus Michael--->Manwe--->Gandalf and Mary--->Varda--->Galadriel seems only natural. In part because of my preference for the Silm and in part because the religious overtones are more obvious there, I prefer to focus my analysis of religious themes on it. ;-p
OK, if Gandalf & Galadriel are Michael & Mary, who then would be Harry & Sally?
Faramir and Eowyn, I'd assume. ;-p
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