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Thread: Poll: Which Character do you..

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Which character do you think is most understood and why? I chose Turin (surprise!) because I think he is essentially a good character, but some of his deeds were done with bad intentions, and all of his deeds were essentially harmful for the peoples of Beleriand. Therefore, is he a good guy or bad guy? How responsible is Morgoth for his actions? Also, there is some question as to his part in the end of the world (I don't believe there is an "official" version, but one has him killing Morgoth at the End). I've also read somewhere that Morgoth feared him greatly at one point, seeing how much more powerful his curse made Turin and thinking he might overcome it. What do you guys think? Also, did the people who chose Bombadil do it because we literally don't understand him (i.e. who/what is he?)

I don't quite understand your question Turin. You said who do we think is the MOST understood, in what way understood, and by whom? I know we had a poll on who we personally thought was the least understood and I chose Frodo. The most understood I think would be Sauron. Everyone knew he wanted to rule Middle-Earth and would do absolutely whatever it took to achieve his goal.

My bad, was multi-tasking at the time. Meant to say misunderstood.

I've only started reading the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales.  So apart from Turin I think that other character would be Maedhros(eldest son of Feanor). What a burden he and his brothers had to carry an oath originating with their father. From his renouncing his rights to the Kingship and passing it over to the House of Fingolfin after his rescue by Fingon, to the kinslaying at Doriath. 

Other than Tom Bombadil.....  Perhaps Galadriel....

What were her reasons for returning to Middle Earth, had she some forsight in the return of the great ring and her importance in the matter......  As a Noldo of great power the fate of Middle Earth would have been very different without her.  Tolkien never give us a clear understanding of her intentions in returning to ME after the ban.

I think Treebeard is the most misunderstood. Squirrels makes nests in his head. He has to wait for water until the weather permits it. Birds probably peck his branches. He is older than who knows what. Eats dirt. And every year he has to put up with his hair changing colors, and then falling out. Leaving him bare in the winter. How Treebeard puts up with this is beyond me.

Tolkien never give us a clear understanding of her intentions in returning to ME after the ban. 

 

I'm a little confused about what you mean by returning to Middle-earth, but anyway Galadriel's pride seems a component in at least three separate texts that speak to her remaining in Middle-earth after the fall of Morgoth.

In Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn we don't seem to have a ban, but Galadriel remains in Middle-earth out of love for Celeborn, and perhaps with some pride as well (as noted in the text), as she was eager to adventure there.

 

In The Road Goes Ever On (a later, Tolkien-published account) Galadriel is banned in any case, so she can't return to Aman at this point, but I note that she 'proudly' refused as well. And in The Shibboleth of Feanor, pride is once again noted.

Sorry I meant after Galadriel left with the Noldor before they were banished...

Ah ok. Some noted motivations in this period (which gives me something to post anyway)...

early 1950s: Galadriel swore no oath, but Feanor's words had kindled in her heart: 'for she yearned to see the wide unguarded lands and to rule there a realm at her own will.'

Nothing is said here of Galadriel's motivation (specifically) after the events that followed, including after the Kinslaying and after the Doom of the Noldor -- which turned Finarfin back home -- but we know she led, with others, the remaining Noldor over the Grinding ice. This was the text used for the 1977 Silmarillion incidentally.

mid to later 1950s: in Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn it is briefly noted that Galadriel had been eager to adventure to Middle-earth.

 

1968 or later: in The Shibboleth of Feanor Galadriel's dreams of far lands and dominions (that might be hers to order without tutelage) are noted, now along with a generous spirit and reverence for the Valar too, but: 'once she had set foot upon that road of exile she would not relent, but rejected the last message of the Valar, and came under the doom of Mandos'

And: 'Her pride was unwilling to return, a defeated suppliant for pardon; but now she burned with desire to follow Feanor with her anger, to whatever lands he might come, and to thwart him in all ways that she could. Pride still moved her when...'

So here part of her motivation is to thwart Feanor. But to me it seems that Galadriel's motivations didn't change all that much, and that pride was a notable enough factor in her early, more fiery years.

 

last year of Tolkien's life: in the very late 'unstained Galadriel' text Tolkien seems to water down the matter somewhat, as here Galadriel wished to go to Middle-earth for the 'exercise of her talents', and had early absorbed all of what the Valar thought fit to teach the Eldar, feeling confined in the tutelage of Aman. And with respect to the kinslaying -- noting that here Galadriel is already at Swanhaven and had not followed Feanor -- after this event: 'despairing now of Valinor and horrified by the violence and cruelty of Feanor' she sails to Middle-earth.

 

Again, as we can see this very late and only adumbrated tale is different -- Tolkien possibly forgetting what he had actually published about Galadriel already in RGEO, where she was a leader in the Rebellion. 

It's unanimous, I should think that Tom Bombadil is the most misunderstood for everyone.  Probably my general opinion that everyone should think that Smile Smilie.  It makes no sense when one reads about him for the first time, especially on certain facts...  I'm sure quite a lot of people have found their answers, so I'll do what most do; say he's most misunderstood!