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Thread: Evil in Middle Earth 101

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The discussion here (http://www.planet-tolkien.com/board/cat/3/thread/3141/0#bottom) is producing some interesting thoughts on the nature of evil, but i thought it might be interesting to ask the question "what/who is the source of evil in middle earth" in this one, as i don't fully understand some of the references in the "dark queen" galadriel thread.
Morgoth?
No, Melkor. It began when Melkor entered thoughts of his own in the Music of the Ainur.

As for evil in Middle-earth, that was part of Melkor's essence dissipating from Utumno, turning beasts into monsters, making plants rot, etc. It mingled with the essence of Arda itself, entered the hearts of the Children of Ilúvatar and could not be undone, safe by breaking Arda itself.
Morgoth/Melkor - same difference.
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No, Melkor. It began when Melkor entered thoughts of his own in the Music of the Ainur.


So evil, like most of middle earth was sung into existance?
Don't we have a thread on Melkor/Morgoth and evil already?
But what if -- (thought experiment) -- what if Melkor had not started it all?

Would someone else have started it?

Would one of those who joined Melkor wholeheartedly have come up with the idea, given a bit more time?
I'll say no. The strong impression I have of the Ainulindale is that Melkors dark thoughts were largely the product of his time in the Void, that while he was in the presence of Eru he was, not dominated, but influenced by his maker, and preserved from the kind of active evil we see in him on his return from the Void. In the Void he encounters Not-Eru, the absence of that wholesome positive presence preserving him from predation by baser urges. If Eru is defined as positive and good then, by definition to encounter his absence is to encounter the negative and evil, and it is then Morgoth becomes infected. It was not a destructive urge that sent him questing for the Flame Imperishable, after all. So, if the question is could some other of the Ainur, or even one of the Maiar, have made the same trip and fallen into the same trap, sure, though in the latter case it would have been a miserable rebellion, confronting the combined power of Eru and the Valar in the Ainulindale then the Valar in Ea, a combined might that would include Manwe AND Melkor in concert. If, however, the question is could one of Eas inhabitants have fallen after the Ainur entered into it and began to shape it, no, I don't think so; I don't think it possible for the Maiar and extremely unlikely for the Valar because it requires a trip to the Void of which I don't think the former still capable or to which the latter remain susceptible.
My reading of this part of The Silmarillion was slightly different. I understood Tolkien to be saying that Melkor brooded on his evil ideas by spending time in the Void, away from Eru and the other Ainur. I did not understand that Melkor had "picked up" the ideas in the Void. The Void is, after all, void. It is not a substance, but the absence of all substance. Melkor did not find anything in the Void except the opportunity to give in to his major fault: pride. Once he had decided just how to mar the designs of Eru, further visits to the Void became unnecessary. You will note that he did not visit the Void once he entered Ea, but commenced at once to bring about the plans he had laid. Morgoth's ultimate punishment is being thrust permanently into this Void, and thus cut off forever from all that is.
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I understood Tolkien to be saying that Melkor brooded on his evil ideas by spending time in the Void, away from Eru and the other Ainur. I did not understand that Melkor had "picked up" the ideas in the Void.

That is indeed the case, for it is written in the Ainulindalë:
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He had gone often alone into the void places seeking the Imperishable Flame; for desire grew hot within him to bring into Being things of his own, and it seemed to him that Ilúvatar took no thought for the Void, and he was impatient of its emptiness. Yet he found not the Fire, for it is with Ilúvatar. But being alone he had begun to conceive thoughts of his own unlike those of his brethren.
Seems like a semantic point to me though; the quoted passage also clearly states it was when he went to the void he BEGAN to CONCEIVE thoughts of his own. No, the Void didn't produce the thougts, but provided the environment, unlike the pervasisve presence of Eru, where they could BE produced. The best (reverse) analogy I can think of in my sleep deprived state is if you take an addict and drop him on a desert island he won't do drugs, but as soon as he's around them again: BOOM!
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The best (reverse) analogy I can think of in my sleep deprived state is if you take an addict and drop him on a desert island he won't do drugs, but as soon as he's around them again: BOOM!

LOST! My preciousss is LOST!

Who knows, maybe the mysterious creature in the woods is Melkor (we're only in the 2nd season here).
Oops. Believe it or not, that was a totally random analogy; I don't do the Lost thing. Though I do recall hearing about an addict among the castaways.
Hobbits! They can't be trusted.
Exactly by whom cannot Hobbits be trusted Vee? I should be very interested to hear your thoughts on that statement.
Umm...i do belive that was a joke..but nvm..carry on.
Here is a thought: what would have happened had Melkor/Morgoth Bauglir had found the Ring (assuming he was a phisical being during the time of the war of the Ring)? Nothing? Or maybe something more sinister...
Melkor/Morgoth would have had Sauron by the short strings, if Sauron had any, and assuming Melkor/Morgoth didn't already, in which case this would have been fortified.
If Melkor/Morgoth had found the Ring, Tulkas Astaldo would pierce it through the fiend's nose, attach Angainor to it, lead the fiend back to the Door of the Night as an ox, and boot him back in.
How do I get a backslash in my name? Do I have to be the ultimate lord of evil, or can anyone go down to the courthouse and have one installed?
There are two methods to get that backslash installed in your name:

1) Write the first part of your name "Turin", follow that up with the key that has the question mark at its top, and follow that up with the second part of your name "turumart". ex. Turin/turumart

2) To make this simpler: after you type the first part of your name, hold the alt key down and type 047 let up on the alt key and type the rest of your name. ex. Turin/turumart

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