Thread: God in Lord of the Rings
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You know, you can call me an elitist, but I think a world where everyone is equal, where everything is purely democratic, well, I think it sounds boring. Some people are born to lead and others to follow.
Well there is Eru Illuvatar (the one) from which everything was created. The Valar and Maiar and lesser beings have their origins in his mind, the first of which was Melkor (Morgoth) and the Aunar (sp?). A song they all sang created the world. Some of them went to the world (Arda) and governed it. Currently Arda is being governed by Manwe Sulimo (under Illuvatar) and he is the Lord of the West and the King of the Valar.
So there is a God figure (Illuvatar) and the Numenoreans used to worship him and many elves still do and such...
Hi Ilmenion, the original question concerned a god figure/praying in LoTR. Although all you said is true, its all part of Silmarillion. And considering how important it is in the Silmarillion its even more surprising that Tolkien makes little or no references to "them" in the trilogy.
Yummy, some people are good leaders, others aren't - but NOBODY is born to lead or BORN to follow. Now, dramatically it's easier (kings, princes, etc) but there are NO ordianry GUYS/GALS heros. Its all blue blood. And I stand corrected - even the Bagginses are your local Bag End Bourgeois!
TOO MUCH BLUE BLOOD in ME for me. And its not essential to fantasy writing - for example Earthsea Trilogy (LeGuin), Thomas Covenant Chronicles, even Pug from Feist's Magician.
Oh but lets not get carried away, its only a book.
Ilmenion, what do you mean Manwe Sulmo is "currently" Lord of the West?
Well that is his current title, for it was not always so... But after Dagor Dagorath he will remove himself from his mountain and Melkor will be released and Illuvatar will step in... Part of the Second Prophecy of Mandos...
Wow... this is still a tolkienish topic... Ilmenion I'm really curious about the 2nd prohpecy do you know where i can read up about it?
Didn't know there even *was* a second one...
So what's the first prophecy about then? I thought everything was just lumped under the Doom of Mandos...
the 1st is the doom of.. atleast i think so
Okay, The First Once was also called 'The Prophecy of the North' which almost everyone has heard about and knows so I will not go into it here. But the Second is found in Vol IV of the History of Middle-Earth Series and it reads like this basically in Section 19 of the Quenta:
"After the triumph of the Gods, Earendel sailed still in the seas of heaven, but the Sun scorched him and the Moon hunted him in the sky . . . Then the Valar drew his white ship Wingelot over the land of Valinor, and they filled it with radiance and hallowed it, and launched it through the Door of Night. And long Earendel set sail into the starless vast, Elwing at his side, the Silmaril upon his brow, voyaging the Dark behind the world, a glimmering and fugitive star. And ever and anon he returns and shines behind the courses of the Sun and Moon above the ramparts of the Gods, brighter than all other stars, the mariner of the sky, keeping watch against Morgoth upon the confines of the world. Thus shall he sail until he sees the Last Battle fought upon the plains of Valinor.
"Thus spake the prophecy of Mandos, which he declared in Valmar at the judgement of the Gods, and the rumour of it was whispered among all the Elves of the West: when the world is old and the Powers grow weary, then Morgoth shall come back through the Door out of the Timeless Night; and he shall destroy the Sun and the Moon, but Earendel shall come upon him as a white flame and drive him from the airs. Then shall the last battle be gathered on the fields of Valinor. In that day Tulkas shall strive with Melko, and on his right shall stand Fionwe and on his left Turin Turambar, son of Hurin, Conqueror of Fate; and it shall be the black sword of Turin that deals unto Melko his death and final end; and so shall the Children of Hurin and all men be avenged.
"Thereafter shall the Silmarils be recovered out of sea and earth and air; for Earendil shall descend and yield up that flame that he hath had in keeping. Then Feanor shall bear the Three and yield their fire to rekindle the Two Trees, and a great light shall come forth; and the Mountains of Valinor shall be levelled, so that the light goes out over all the world. In that light the Gods will again grow young, and the Elves awake and all their dead arise, and the purpose of Iluvatar be fulfilled concerning them. But of Men in that day the prophecy speaks not, save of Turin only, and him it names among the sons of the Gods."
Hmm..seems that the Elves all go to 'heaven' or ME re-born, and mankind gets left out again. Bummer.
Welcome to all those I haven't met before!
Huan: great quote! And on the leadership thing: I agree with you. You are made a leader by your followers, not born one. And your followers may have the capacity to become a leader just as well. You never know...
What is this about prophecies? I expect it to be in the Sil. I NEED TO READ THAT BOOK!!!
Oh well... *sigh* Guess the time will never come...
I thought that was what you'd been doing Tommy, oh well.....
I've been reading. But not the book you've expected me to read, I guess. Sorry...
i'm trying to get my hands on a second hand copy of Silmarillion but since the movie came out, second hand Tolkien books are becoming even harder to find! which really sucks because i live for vintage/second-hand stuff, from shoes and jewellery to books and magazines!
my ultimate fantasy- parisian flea markets. *sigh*
anyway, getting back to the topic, i've been thinking, Tolkien, i instead of using a figure that is like our conception of 'god' (an omnipotent, omniscient being), he uses more 'demi-god' like figures with human emotions. like galadriel, gandalf and sauron, sort of like the ancient greek gods without the childishness. They are all invincible (to a certain extent) and powerful, either benign or malicious and the fates of lesser beings are ruled by them.
Interesting point, Rosie, and i would agree with that.
Very good point, indeed. I tend to agree with it, but not fully though. Wouldn't that be the same as creating an omnipotent god? Instead you now have more creatures, all having some powers, but none of them being invincible. Not even Gandalf is. Still, very good point, Rosie. You surprise me every time!
Second-hand copies of Tolkien are very rare now! Even new ones are! They're sold out so quickly! Hate it!
All because those silly people who have seen the movie want to read the book, only to find out they don't like it. Oh well. What can you do?
Yes Yes... but there still is Illuvatar (called Eru by the elves) he's the supreme god and the others vala/maya are just realising the song Eru had in mind...
i've only read LOTR and the Hobbit so i don't know what you are talking about, and i was referring to a god figure in LOTR. Perhaps there is a supreme god in LOTR- so is that a monotheist ideal coming through? or are there other little gods running around and Illuvatar just the head honcho like Zeus?
Never read the Sil either, but if you're saying that Illuvater is the head of the Gods around, why isn't he in Lotr? Has he died? No, cos real gods don't die... So he's not invincible...
None of them are really mentioned in Lotr, it would probably have just got in the way of the story. There's no mention of Eru, Manwe etc. One tiny reference to Morgoth and a couple of Varda refs, but none are explicit or in any way explanatory.
Besides, that can be somewhat explained in Silm. The Valar had turned their backs on the Nordor & ME in general - only Earendil's mission got them off their backsides in the War of Wrath. Then they invited the Elves back to the West, so they wouldn't see a reason to interfere with the Elves' fate on ME.
As for Men - most of them fought for Morgoth - so they were 'left in darkness' to fall under Sauron's rule. The goodies (Edain) were given land (Numenor) off the west coast of ME.
I think that by the time the War of the Ring came about, the Valar really didn't really have an active policy re. ME. But although they did seem somewhat disinterested, they did send the wizards to help men & remaining Elves fight against Sauron.
I also read LOTR without having read Silm first... and many things were then far from being clear for me - for instance., who was Varda (Elbereth): just an elven queen, or some other being?
We must remember that Tolkien himself always wanted to publish the Silmarillion and the LOTR at the same time. He laid a great stress on it even to the degree of breaking his contract with his publishers when they refused to publish the Silm. He turned to some other publishers which promised him to publish both Silm and LOTR and only when it didn't workl, he came back to his first editors. This matter retarded considerably the publication of the LOTR
If one reads LOTR after having read Silm, many things are obvious from the very beginning, for instance the question of death being a gift of God for Men. Willingness to accept that gift is the ultimate test of our confiance in God (you may also see my post in the thread on Luthien, Idril & Arwen).
i guess i should probably go read Sil if i'm going to write anything on the LOTR thoroughly. but it's only school assessment, so who gives a rat's arse, eh? bet the markers wouldn't have read LOTR or liked the book anyway..
Isn't it so that Tolkien wrote the Sil before LOTR, but because no one wanted to publish the Sil, he started LOTR to please his readers and his editors? That would explain why he left all the varda's and stuff out LOTR, fearing that it wouldn't be published either...
To some extent maybe, the Sil was nothing like the Sil we know and love at that time though. And if it weren't for Lotr, none of us would want to read the Sil either, if we're honest.
Why is it then that I've never felt the urge of reading the Sil? Hmmm...
Because you are young and shallow young Tommy, that is why
And that's also why I have only read The Silmarillion
twice in the nigh on twenty-three years I have owned a copy. I guess I'm due for another wade through about now--maybe when I finish the Diskworld series.
I like to read a bit of Sil almost on every evening and to imagine all missing details!
Hey, what do you mean, Rosie?:o
I did not get your meaning!
I guess she was just tickling you a bit, Eryan. :o
Haha sorry, Eryan, no offence intended
i was just shocked, that's all..:0
I mean, you don't really do that do you?
nothing wrong with it if you did, of course but it's just that...i've never, i mean... well... ( i should just stop now
i guess i thought you were someone my age and i don't know anyone in their teens doing that sort of thing so i was just blown away. :smoke
I am afraid I was dead serious Rosie!
It does not mean that I have that habit since I first read the Silmarillion... it's right now that I found out that it is quite a nice game, very good for the development of imagination.
I always read before I go to sleep, but always a different book. Right now it's Silence of the Lambs.
I think we've wondered off topic - my point is lost in this discussion of warriors - but let me point out that if Palastinians have no problem sending 12 year olds with bombs onto buses to kill Jews (and don't forget the recent photos of a 2 year old with a bomb strapped to him) - It is well within Israels right of self protection to consider 12 year olds "warriors" - I'm certain that God is wiser than I am and so I won't question his wisdom in the Old Testament. In Mosaic law almost everything was punishable by death (I certainly wouldn't want to be an adulteress). The Jews were just learning to live by tradition to worship one God (and it was obviously hard for them for polytheism reared it's head several times).
BUT - back to the topic - I think it was Frodo's desire to avoid any sort of corruption that made him avoid killing. Veterans, once home, are eagar to leave behind all memories of war, and Killing would have been a very real reminder that the war was still ongoing.
...and you don't have nightmares, Tom. Iread at bedtime ( and during the night sometimes) but never a horror story!
I used to read horror stories before bed, but then I quit because I'd always get too riled up to sleep...must read something calm and/or boring in order to sleep
After that Silence of the Lambs thing, I do now too!
My bedtime literature is Dune now. Bit hard to read in bed though, the book is too thick!
Just checking in on my postBody thread. I'm so impressed that it's gotten this big!
As far as bedside reading is concerned, I'm struggling through one of my favorite romance novels ever. Struggling b/c I keep falling asleep. Lack of sleep is an issue for me these days. Not getting to bed early enough, I guess.
As far as God in LOTR, I wonder if this ties in a bit with my email discussion comments. The whole black and white thing has to do with God, and the reason I objected to the idea of Frodo killing Gollum is because it's quite an unchristian idea, and I think Frodo was supposed to be a prototypical good guy with a strong moral center.
Getting ready to read the Eyre Affair - might interest a few of you. I'll let you know how it is when I get into it, if you're interested.
One of my favorite prophets was Joshua. He was a warrior - the general of the armies of Israel, who no doubt "killed" many people. In the Old Testament, the Lord even directed that no one, not even children, among the unbelievers be left alive. I have no problem with Frodo killing Gollum and still maintaining his Christian like demeanor. In the book, Killing Gollum would have defeated the quest. And perhaps it was the "spirit" talking to Frodo, Bilbo and Sam that kept them from killing Gollum so that the quest could be fulfilled.
If you think about it... there are times when people have to be killed to save other people's lives. The present situation in the Middle East comes to mind. I'd much rather have a God fearing man directing that death than someone who has no moral compass (like a Hitler, who was a pagan).
Why do you like someone who ordered to kill even the children?!
The God of the Pentateuch (The first five books of the Old Testament and the Torah, and attributed to Moses) had not yet evolved into a loving God. He was still carving out a niche for himself amongst the peoples of the Middle-East. Had Joshua actually followed, to the letter, God's instructions, and not let some of the Canaanite tribes live, we might not be seeing the present strife in Palestine between the two branches of Abraham's children. Of course, had they actually done this, the later rise of Christianity and Islam might never have been necessary, and all the nations on earth would now pray to be blessed as Abraham's descendants are blessed. The best laid plans ...
Here endeth the lesson.
And welcome back, Swanpfaye.
[Edited on 28/6/2002 by Grondmaster]
Hey there Faye! Back, are ya?
I do follow your reasoning, but only to some extent. A warrior who orders to kill eveyone, even women and children and old people, cannot be a real good-hearted warrior to me. Warriors kill because they have to, but they should only kiill those who are able to defend themselves. And those are grown men (or women, all right), not little harmless children or old people who are too weak to do so. Makes me mad every time.
Those little children were brought up in an environment of death and war. How do you expect them to lead a normal life? All they see is fighting and screaming and killing. And they end the same way they were born, with pain and war around them.
And I think I'm with you here again, Faye!
Your rational makes good sense. And is why many children of WW II veterans know so little about what their fathers did in the war and are now trying to find out before it is too late. I can still here Frodo's plea during the Scouring of The Shire
(from the BBC Radio production of LOTR)
No more killing
I think it's a shame those children now have to learn everything about WW II in school, whereas their grandfathers could tell them more real every day life stuff, and perhaps more interesting things to learn from.
Faye, don't be so quick in your judgment about the Palestinians and the Israeli. Try to see it both ways. Imagine suddenly groups of people are invading your country, claiming it their own and putting the original residents in camps. How would you feel? I don't know so much about the situation (and history) of Israel and Palestina, but I know Israel claimed certain parts of Palestina their own after WWII, repressing the people that lived there. The rest of the world didn't react to that, because the jewish people suffered so much during the war. So I guess they saw it somewhat like a gift to ease the pain. The Palestinian people don't take that and want their land back. They are no rich nation, they have no tanks, planes or army, so they are using self made bombs. They can not, like Israel, use planes and tanks to attack military targets, because they don't have any. They spend years of talking and debating and are tired of it. Don't get me wrong here. I don't approve anything which involves violence and killing. I can understand that Palestinian people are angry and tired of being repressed, but I can also understand Israel is angry for all the assaults and the killing of innocent civilians. I feel sorry for both. It is very sad when again civilians, people like you and me, get killed by a Palestinian bomb. But it is also sad seeing the Palestinian in their refuge camps, tanks destroying houses with people inside. There is no good and bad guy in this situation. It's all shades of grey. The way things are going now, it is difficult to put an end to all this violence. When the Palestinian attack, Israel will strike back ever harder. And as respons the Palestinian will plan an other attack. It's a circle of increasing violence. Both parties are victim and offender at the same time. What this situation needs is a strong neutral person with enough mental power to arrange this in a peaceful way.
I doubt if anyone can ever solve this problem. It's a never ending circle to me.
gnampie, back to history books.. Israel never belonged to the Palastinian's, who were kicked out of Jordan and Lebanon (WHy aren't they attacking Jordanians?) - I won't argue with you on this thread about it (we could take it to an INN if you'd like - I'm more than a little well read on this subject), only to say that I agree with Tom and Grondy about reading History books. Several times they have been brought to war over racism and yet we see the cycle repeating itself in places that really should know better.
But we have seen History books change as well... though we know History hasn't changed - it's hard to find the fact that 6 million jews died in US history books anymore - and perhaps that's why we need to keep *READING* - Movies, we've learned, just don't have the impact that books do. WHile lots of veterans don't want to talk about their experiences, many of them do in fact write those same experiences down in book form. As Tolkien fans, I think you'll agree that there is more emotional involvement in a book than in a movie... so we should always keep reading!
[Edited on 3/7/2002 by swampfaye]
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Ok, just a short remark and I will shut up.
I didn't mean Israel belonged to Palestina, I just said Israel is occupying some regions that used to belong to Palestina.
I agree on the history books Faye, although 'Shindlers' list' did have a rather big impact on people.