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Thread: Was Eol really such a bad guy?

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Komosot began this thread with the following post.

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Hiya. Im a bit new so im not sure if this subject has been discussed already, so let's see if this thread goes anywhere.

Just about everyone "I" talk with seems to ridicule and loathe the name "Eol". Putting aside the fact that his son pretty much brought about the fall of Gondolin, I personally find Eol to be a vigorous and sublime character. Sure he was a bit introverted and haughty, but who doesn't have there flaws? This is a kinsman of Thingol. Has a falling out with Thingol, doesn't really like the structured enviornment, moves to Nan-Elmoth. Ooh, he's so "evil". At least he doesn't hide behind his wife's magic girdle all day...

He prefers moonlight over sunlight, blah blah blah. He's open minded and can manage a congenial and profitable relationship with the dwarves. That's admirable on it's own. Get's skilled in metalwork, making a name for himself, things are looking good and darkish. Aredhel comes along. Ok, so Eol makes the forest lure her to his humble abode. Who doesn't pull all the tricks when there dating? And Aredhel's marriage to Eol was not totally "unwilling" in my opinion. He's dark, different, and doesn't like authority. This is all so new and overwhelming for Aredhel, im sure she found it inviting compared to the dull confines of Gondolin. Ironically, Aredhel switches one confined home for another, but at least there in "love". Life for the Eol clan becomes a domestic nightmare. Aredhel and Maeglin are getting antsy. Sometimes marriages don't work out. Moving way ahead now, Aredhel and Maeglin head for Gondolin. Eol pursues them, dying for an explanation. Runs into Curufin. Despite Curufin's pretentious attitude for anything non-Noldor, Eol remains calm and polite throught all the insults. Let's not forget Curufin's standing on Teleri ground, this is Eol's land, not his. Im not trying to say Eol's a victim here, but he's being pushed around like it's nobodys business. At least he didn't bring up the whole Kin-slaying thing as a counter arguement. More pursuing, gallop gallop. Fade to Turgon's throne room. Eol get's a royal smackdown. Eol has a dark premonition, this next act of his could save Beleriand, he goes for his spear, he's about to slay the anti-christ, and just when the Silmarillion could have had a happy ending, Aredhel takes the bullet for Maeglin. Turgon get's angry and stuff, Eol get's tossed of the cliff, the end. The Teleri should be crafting songs for this poor soul in my opinon. I'd like to hear everyone else's thoughts...


Valedhelgwath replied

Funny enough, Komosot, the story I am currently writing is based on Eol's forging of Anglachel.

The first time I read the Silmarillion I found Eol to be one of the most interesting characters, and when I came to read the book again, his story was one of the parts I was most looking forward to re-reading.

My opinion of him is that he is not evil, but he is no angel either. I think he yearns for the old days when he could walk beneath the stars without any interference from the sun and the moon (if you have grown up quite happily in an age where you had neither, their appearence would have been pretty disprupting).

He seems the sort who prefers the solitude of the forests to being surrounded by people, and when the Noldor return and begin carving the land up into their kingdoms, quite rightly he sees them as trespassers.

Most of his deeds are not evil, just different. That is no crime. Aredhel, I think he perhaps held somewhat against her will, although like you said, it wasn't totally against her will. I think also, he was acting here out of misguided love, which although doesn't make matters right, also doesn't make him evil.

And so to his deeds in Gondolin. Turgon has just told him he can never leave the city and return home. To an elf who loves his solitude, this must be worse than a jail sentence in a crowded prison, and for an elf, life really is a long time.

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Eol has a dark premonition, this next act of his could save Beleriand, he goes for his spear, he's about to slay the anti-christ, and just when the Silmarillion could have had a happy ending, Aredhel takes the bullet for Maeglin.


I'm not sure whether you are jesting or serious about this dark premonition. In case of the latter, Eol had no premonition, but if he were to die, he was going to take his son with him. In all of his deeds, this is the only one which I would really hold against him. It wasn't love for his son that encouraged him to give him a "mercy killing", but an act of selfish spite. Given the choice of staying or dying he chose death for himself, and he attempted to make that choice for Maeglin too.

So, in summary, he was broody and different. He made some selfish and rash acts, but was not outright evil. I'd trust him more than Celegorm and Curufin, and the deeds he committed were no where as bad as those eventually committed by his son.

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and the deeds he (Eöl) committed were no where as bad as those eventually committed by his son (Meaglin).
Nor even those of the malice filled sword Anglachel, in which still dwelt the dark heart of Eöl, he who had forged it. This was the same sword that was to cause so much pain and suffering to Turin, in later years.

Except of course we can lay much of that blame back at the hand of Eöl for imparting his malice into it. Which means Eöl's mis-deeds had far reaching effects.
I'm pleased you have said that Grondy because I have spent the past three weeks working on a short story based entirely around your last paragraph. I'm hoping to have it finished in the next couple of weeks, and then you'll get to see why I think that malice came to be in the sword.
ouch komosot.....,i kind of resent that.... Elf Smilie


well...., first of all i do not think Thingol....the great elu Thingol....,the king of all moriquendi....,and the only one of them who saw cuivienen and the awakening of stars and the comming of the sun....,the only one among all moriquendi who was considered as a calaquendi because he saw not only the light of the trees but also saw valinor and the valars.....,could be considered as a weak and coward character....well, yes it is called mellian´s girdle but it was thingol who ruled it as a king and it was him who kept the realm of the thousand caves safe from morgoth...and from all realms it is the only one from those days which made it till saurons fall....besides he learned a lot from mellian and when he got back to his people, he was alike a lord of maiar....not to mention that he was wise enough to understand his daughter´s will....,(late, i know...., but he finally did..., did he not?)

well as for eol.... i do not think he was evil....,i think that he liked his solitud and he was independent....so he did not wanted to call anybody "lord",and when he felt himself betrayed and abandoned ,he rather had death than to subdue....,the problem was that he took the same decision for his son....and i think that was selfish....,but thrust me there are some countries where similar examples hapen every day....

hey val never told me you were writing a book....so are we going to read Read Smilie it????...
I don't think that Thingol was a coward by protecting his realm within the Girdle of Melian - it was actually quite an intelligent move; espercially after Melkor returned to Middle Earth with the Silmarils: the world was in complete darkness and his evil creatures were roaming free. And when it came to joining in the wars between the Elves and Morgoth maybe he was a bit 'removed', but you could say that Thingol did not rush in where Valar feared to tread.

Anyway, back to the topic... I don't think that Eol was entirely evil, in fact he was quite unfortunate: all he wanted was to live in his dark forest with his family, however I do not approve of his methods of securing a wife or of his selfish act when he tried to kill his son.
So although he was not evil as such, he was hardly a noble Elf.
Yeah, I totally agree that Eol is not totally evil. In fact I just find him to be a strong-willed person who is willing to do anything to get what he wants. He does not bore ill to anyone who does not offend him. However, I find that his son should be killed instead of him...I mean I hate him because...who would caused the death of his own father?!?!?!?!?
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However, I find that his son should be killed instead of him...I mean I hate him because...who would caused the death of his own father?!?!?!?!?
Maeglin's reasons for wanting to go to Gondolin were because he did not want to spend his whole life cloistered in an isolated wood. He had heard tales from his mother about the wondrous city, and he wished to see it with his own eyes. His had no intention of causing his father's death, only to escape from the prison he was being kept in.

Since it was Eol's decision to follow them there, he cannot really be blamed for Eol's death. His father had tried to kill him after all. And for that matter, what other elf ever used poison on his darts?
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hey val never told me you were writing a book....so are we going to read it????...
Not exactly a book, Thingol. It'll just be a short story like the other ones. Once it's finished I'll send it to the Writer's Panel to see if its good enough to be added to the Fan Writing section, and if so you'll be able to find it there a short time later. If its not good enough to be included, I'll email it to anyone who wants a copy.
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I don't think that Thingol was a coward by protecting his realm within the Girdle of Melian - it was actually quite an intelligent move



i could not say it better.....thnx....



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Once it's finished I'll send it to the Writer's Panel to see if its good enough to be added to the Fan Writing section, and if so you'll be able to find it there a short time later. If its not good enough to be included, I'll email it to anyone who wants a copy.


first new i have got about this place....well...., i am a little bit distracted so....żany indication where i could find that place???? Wink Smilie

[Edited on 19/2/2003 by THINGOL77]
Look to your left Thingol, on the menu bar, under general, is a section named Fan writing, click on it and be transported into Tolkien's extended world.
In addition Thingol, most of the stories in there also have a relevant thread in the Writer's Guild too, for any comments anyone may wish to make about them.
Just wanted to say that I enjoyed reading what everyone had to say, as I also have found Eol to be a very intriguing character. Personally I don’t think that Eol was evil. As others have pointed out, he was just different. I do think that Eol made some poor choices however (as have we all), and unfortunately, the consequences of those poor choices sowed not only the seeds of his own doom, but the downfall of Gondolin as well.
Elf Smilie
im sorry, but i dont remember Eol. can someone enlighten me?
Eol was the Sindarin Smith who lived in the dark woods of Nan Elmoth to the East of Doriath during the First Age. He loved the twilight world beneath the stars, prior to the making of the Sun and the Moon, and so was always a little bitter that theybhad been created.

Turgon's sister Aredhel became lost in his woods one day, and rather than helping her find her way back out, Eol married her. Their son was Maeglin, the person who later betrayed the whereabouts of Gondolin to Morgoth.

Eol attempted to keep his wife and son from ever leaving his woods, but wishing to return to Gondolin, they escaped one day while Eol was away. Eol followed their trail and found his way into the hidden city where he was taken prisoner. Told by Turgon that he could never leave, he chose instead to die. Wishing to take Maeglin with him, he threw a poisoned dart at his son, but Aredhel threw herself in its path. When she died the following day, Turgon had Eol flung to his death off a cliff.

Eol is renowned for discovering how to make Galvorn, an iron alloy made with metal from a meteorite, and also for forging the dark sword, Anglachel, later used by Turin Turambar.

Hopefully this enlightens you, Delidia.
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im sorry, but i dont remember Eol. can someone enlighten me?


If the above is all just so much "whattheheck?" then may I just say, he's a character from the Silmarrillion, which may be the information you wanted. Wink Smilie
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I'm pleased you have said that Grondy because I have spent the past three weeks working on a short story based entirely around your last paragraph. I'm hoping to have it finished in the next couple of weeks, and then you'll get to see why I think that malice came to be in the sword.
For those of you are interested, I have just posted my interpretation of Eol's forging of the Dark Sword in the Fan Writing's section on the left. Read Smilie

I hope you enjoy it.
Val just didn't just up and post his new story; however. First he sent it to the Writers Guild where the review panel had to rule on its acceptability, as are all submissions before being posted in our Fan Writings section.
Good question. I like Eol, I think he is one of the most interesting characters in the Sil. I don't personally think he is evil. I just think he has a different morality structure from the majority of elves. He is in his own right an unrecognised king. But to him although he shows it ina funny way, the most important thing in his life is his family. He will do anything to protect them or keep them from leaving him. As he realises he will only be half the man once they leave. He dislikes the Noldor, especialy the sons of Feanor and shuns them. Is that such a bad idea. After all they did bring the wrath of Morgorth down on Beleriand much quicker. Laying siege to Angbad, caused Morgorth to have to build up military strength and act quicker in the attacks on Beleriand. now I'm not saying this would have never happened because it would. But my point is Eol is bitter to them because of this. Then to see his wife and son go back to one of the Lords of the Noldo, someone who will face Morgorth's legions in open battle, would just infuriate him.
Yeah, Eol is not such a bad guy, but he is a dark character (not just a Dark Elf)! I, for one, admire the House of Feanor, so I don't sympathise with his "warm" feelings about them! I mean, if the Noldor wouldn't have returned to Middle-earth, what would have happened to the Sindar? They would've probably perished by the hand of Morgoth (oh, yeah, and at the hands of the Orcs too!).
I admit, the sons of Feanor, like their father, were too contemptful towards not-Noldor people, but don't forget that Eol kidnapped Aredhel and constrained her to remain hidden in the dark woods of Nan Elmoth! It has to count for smth., doesn't it?!
Namarie!
Yes.
Eöl is the Fëanor of Beleriand : also very talented and spirited, but also not wise at all, and full of ridiculous prejudice and arrogance. I can't stand him, just like Fëanor.

Also, the way he tricked Aredhel into meeting him and practically forcing her to live with him, is not really what a regular casanova (read : Legolas) would've done...

Lucky though, that he only spawned one evil son, unlike Fëanor, who spawned 7 monsters -- although Maedhros and Maglor were not that bad compared to the rest.
True.
I believe Eöl killing his wife and his son causing the downfall of Gondolin should have been called the Second Kinslaying.

Those lovely Fëanorians shouldn't get all the honours.
You have a strange idea of what constitues an "honor." It's interesting comparison though, as both were unparalleled smiths. Though I'm not sure that last statement is grammatically valid....
At least the Fëanorians had the pretense that they were after the Silmarils.

Like Fëanor, Eöl just wanted his 'possessions' back : his wife and son. And when he couldn't, he killed, just like a spoiled kid destroying the toys of a sibling because they're not his or hers.

Of course, Aredhel was kind of a spoiled, superficial Elfy herself, running away as soon as she gets bored; imo Eöl was much better off without her - but that was perhaps the reason why he was only taking about his son in Gondolin.

Looks like Aredhel threw herself in front of Eöl's javelin because she couldn't cope with not being the centre of attention. She-elves!
Well, at least now we know why Glorfindel wan't in the movie, huh?
Yes, now we can start trying to like it.
Hey! Glorfindel killed a Balrog, faced down the Witch-King (TWICE) and prophecied his demise while Malbeth stood there thinking I wish I could do that. Without killing any of his relatives. Oh, and he CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD!!! What's a Nolda gotta do to win your approval?
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Hey! Glorfindel killed a Balrog, faced down the Witch-King (TWICE) and prophecied his demise while Malbeth stood there thinking I wish I could do that. Without killing any of his relatives. Oh, and he CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD!!!

From your mouth to PJ's ears, mate.

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What's a Nolda gotta do to win your approval?

Nolda?! So PJ was right after all.
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I, for one, admire the House of Feanor, so I don't sympathise with his "warm" feelings about them! I mean, if the Noldor wouldn't have returned to Middle-earth, what would have happened to the Sindar?


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Be glad that you have sons of Feanor as neighbours, not orcs

I know that was said to Thingol, but still relevant.
I always saw Eol as not evil, but strict, and swift to anger, in a way very different to the wrath of any other character. However, Maeglin's a nasty piece of work, and should rot in the Halls of Mandos. But its not exactly nice to take a wife almost by force, and then prevent them from seeing their kin.
Just thought of something. It was not necessarily Eol's malice that caused Turin the pain and suffering. Think of Morgoth's curse, the loss of his father (he was not to know that he did not die) and his separation from his sister and Mother, and the untimely loss of Lalaith, while she was only 3 and he 8. That with comments from those such as Saeros, it is not surprising that he slew Brandir and such. Think of Beleg, Turin's been comatose/unconscious. The last thing he saw was orcs. He wakes up. It's dark. There's a glint of a knife. He feels the point of it against him whilst his bonds are getting cut. Sure, it's unfortunate, but who wouldn't do the same?
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But its not exactly nice to take a wife almost by force, and then prevent them from seeing their kin.

Yes, just look at how ye olde Greek heroes -Agamemnon, Menelaus, the Ajaxes et al- responded to such a similar feat.
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It was not necessarily Eol's malice that caused Turin the pain and suffering.


When did Eol ever cross Turin's path? Or have I just completely forgot all my stuff from the Narn I Hin Hurin?

The taking-Aredhel-by-force part actually pleased me. Nothing like a good lesson of the dangers of the outside world for a spoiled princess like The White Lady.
Anglachel had been forged by Eöl.

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The taking-Aredhel-by-force part actually pleased me. Nothing like a good lesson of the dangers of the outside world for a spoiled princess like The White Lady.

She wanted to be taken. After all, she was bored. That spoiled princess was still fresh of the Undying Lands and could've eaten Eöl for breakfast if she wanted.
Somehow I am grateful to have read all these accounts for myself before reading all these spirited comments! Smile Smilie
What doeas a dark elf refer to here? One who has not been to valinor or is it his skin colour?
Not because of his skin. Eol was not only a Dark-elf as in 'one of those who had not experienced the light of Valinor' but was called the Dark Elf because he desired the deep shadow of the forest, loving the night and the twilight. He was called Sun-shy at one point in the tale.

Other 'dark' associations that might be made: it was said that Eol would go abroad clad, in some measure, in galvorn (black and shining like jet) for example. Melian also referred to the dark heart of the Smith when describing one of his works.
Personally I found more fault with Aredhel and Maeglin, Eol's blame I think is mainly his attachment and inability to accept that what he took for his can be taken from him. I never liked Aredhel for her selfishness and irresponsibility, and loathed Maeglin, though thats unfair because the child is largely a product of his/her parents/upbringing... a tragic character poor Eol methinks.
Well, in a way i think most of the blame should rest on eol and aredhel. Aredhel sowed true womanism when she run away from her home, got married secretly and came back with a child. But i think she should have known that such a thing would have happened as she knew enough of the mond of the dark smith of having lived with himto understand t5hat he would try to get ack his son. But concerning maeglin i think that his fate was largely influenced by his curse.
Maeglin is never a character I've liked. His upbringing was admittedly not that of a typical elf-lord's, but he was well-schooled in Elven-lore by his mother, and in smithcraft by his father, but he inherited his mother's curiosity for the outside world. I mean, see the parallelism here? Both were confined to a place by their family, and both were stirred to go outside to "see the world". Only, Aredhel was guarded less jealously by her brother than Maeglin was by his father. And of course, Aredhel was always seen as a creature of the "Light", being in Gondolin, and the White Lady and all that, while Maeglin had been confined to a world of "darkness" with Eol.

I think that his upbringing had much to do with his wanting to run away from home, but I do not think that Aredhel or Eol influenced their son into being a filthy traitor. The traitor part is pure Maeglin, I think, and came from the jealousy and lust that stemmed from his own heart, independant of either of his parents.

But getting back to Eol. Eol's not a bad guy. I mean, he's not an antagonist in Tolkien. He isn't fundamentally evil like Morgoth or Sauron, or Ungoliant. He's not fundamentally arrogant like Feanor either. He's fundamentally dark, hidden, or private. His nature is that of one who likes solitude and privacy. That's why he lives alone and also why he doesn't allow Aredhel to visit her relatives. Of course, he's also a smith, and being a hermit smith is not very good for the soul. I think it is because of his love for darkness and dislike of exposure that he has gained such a possessive view towards his wife and child. He had been the only one in his land for centuries, probably, and smiths aren't exactly the type who are content to melt in with nature; they're the ones who conquer it and claim it as their own (with the exception of Aule and arguable Celebrimbor). Thus, he's gained a very possessive attitude towards everything in his lonesome life, which leads him to view his wife and son the same way, of course.
I still stand with Miruvor's post from 17th July 2005.

Eöl is the Fëanor of Middle-earth, only less grandiose and illustrious. Fëanor was not the sycophant and sneak Eöl was - note how meek he acted against Caranthir, whilst he had no trouble displaying his prejudice against his brother-in-law.

Eöl's downfall proved to be ensnaring a spoiled, haughty daughter of the Noldor in his web. For his sake, it would've been better if Galadriel had ended up in Nan Elmoth instead - at least then, his life would've ended immediately at the hands of that cruel enchantress.
Cool Smilie Yes I sort of agree with you Viromor that Galadriel should of turned up instead of Adrahel butwe cannot change the history of Tolkien's Middle-Earth.I mean like if Adrahel hadn't been to Gondolin or didn't turn up, the sack of Gondolin would of never of happened(All because Maeglin's desire of Idril Celebrindaical).I wish that Maeglin got struck by Lightning. Lighening Smilie
It would have happend sooner or later. Gondolin could not hold out hidden against Morgoth forever as is said more than once in The Silmarillion.
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It would have happend sooner or later. Gondolin could not hold out hidden against Morgoth forever

Yup, after the Dragons (and Balrogs?) received their pilot licences it was only a matter of time.
Yes I geuss so. You now Eol wasn't such a bad guy, it's just his view on things.
He thoughtthe Noldor as horrible upsurpers and men a similar way to the Noldor. Like Thingol, he hated theFeanoriens, for the slaying of the Teleri at Alqualonde (Kinslaying). So he just had a sort of bad way of thinkingthat got him in trouble.
I agree with Valedhelgwath, (on first entry) that he wasn't that bad, he just looked at it from the other side of the glass, but I do contradict one thing, I don't think maeglin is that bad either, he just lusted over Indril to much therefore leading to his supposed death, really he is not that bad at all. Smile Smilie
Aww.. I still think Maeglin was a little baddie, though. I mean, a virtuous Elf wouldn't lust after an Elf-maid, no matter how pretty she was. I guess I could sympthasize with him if he'd really loved Idril, but then, he didn't. It was pure lust all along, so I'll have to reserve my pity for some other character. Big Smile Smilie
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I mean, a virtuous Elf wouldn't lust after an Elf-maid, no matter how pretty she was.

No, a virtuous Elf wouldn't lust after his niece.

Then again, maybe indeed Elvish "men" (and I mean that in the broadest sense possible) were unable to feel lust, which immediately explains why they dwindled in numbers in the Third Age. Since they were the first of the Children of Ilúvatar to awake, it is normal that the One had overlooked some imperfections in his creation of the Firstborn --- he concentrated so much on making them fair that he forget to inject testosterone in the males.

Hence, surprisingly, it seems that PJ captured the essence of male Elves very well in the movies - androgyne, blonde, and foppish. Respect!
I think that he was not bad guy.I mean,how would you feel if someone came from the West and took your land and now seeking for permission to pass or do anything in your own land?
Of course he got mad Exploding Head Smilie
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he concentrated so much on making them fair that he forget to inject testosterone in the males.


Well, I don't know... I think Tolkien was being rather male-centric when he recorded the history. I'm sure that had there been more Elf-women, testosterone would be much more of an issue. Ah, it might even make history! Haha, can you imagine the Antony and Cleopatra of Middle Earth?

Sorry... to all moderators... That was off-topic.

I really wish there would more story about Eol, because he is so much different and interesting, not to mention the fact that he forged such incredible armor and swords, would the outcome of Turin Turambar been different had it not been for Anglachel(Gurthang) ? would he still have been able to kill the dragon?

Had I been Thingol I would have kept the black armor he had, probably more stronger than mithril itself!

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