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For this seventh assignment we shall be looking at just one rather long chapter which was originally written as a long poem, the Lay of Leithian (found in the History of Middle Earth, Vol 3, The Lays of Beleriand). This version in the Silmarillion is somewhat shorter than the original, and is written in prose.

Chapter19
Of Beren and Luthien.


After the War of Sudden Flame had broken the Elven defences and decimated the three Houses of the Edain, Barahir of the House of Beor and a small group of followers were the only Men left remaining in Dorthonion. Here they fought a desperate hit and run war against Morgoth’s forces until only thirteen of them remained. Using treachery, however, Sauron managed to discover the whereabouts of Barahir’s camp and was able to ambush the bandits there. The only survivor of this attack was Barahir’s son, Beren, who had been away on an errand at the time.

After rescuing his father’s hand, and the Ring of Barahir, from the orcs that had killed his companions, Beren wandered the wilds of Dorthonion for four more years gaining himself a fearsome reputation with the enemy. Finally, however, with an army of orcs and werewolves hunting for him, he was forced to flee his homeland, and crossing the Ered Gorgoroth he came at last to Doriath. Managing to pass through the Girdle of Melian, as she had forseen a Mortal would one day do, he came upon Thingol’s daughter, Luthien.

Beren and Luthien fell in love with each other and met frequently, but Daeron, Thingol’s minstrel discovered their meetings and betrayed them to Thingol. Thingol summoned Beren to his court, but rather than cowering before the Elven king, he announced his desire to wed Luthien. Had he not already promised Luthien that no harm would come to Beren, Thingol would have had him slain, so instead he set the bridal price as nothing less than a silmaril from Morgoth’s crown. Of course he expected Beren would die in this quest, but instead he bound Doriath and the Sindar to the Curse of the Noldor.

Because Finrod Felagund had pledged his aid to Barahir should it ever be needed, Beren travelled to Nargothrond and told Finrod what had befallen his father and Thingol’s quest. Not forsaking his oath to Barahir, even though it angered the two sons of Feanor, Celegorm and Curufin, Finrod and ten others agreed to join Beren.

As they travelled through his lands in disguise, Sauron became aware of them and captured them, though he did not know who they were. Casting them in a dark pit in the dungeons of Tol-in-Gaurhoth, he had a werewolf kill them one by one. When only Beren and Finrod remained alive the werewolf attacked Beren, but breaking his bonds, Finrod slew the beast with his bare hands, though he too was slain.

Sensing Beren was in danger, Luthien was going to his aid when Thingol had her imprisoned in a great tree. Escaping, however, she left Doriath but was then captured by Celegorm and Curufin who were hunting near the borders. They imprisoned her in Nargothrond, for they wished to usurp Finrod’s throne, and also wished for Luthien to wed Celegorm. Celegorm, however, had a huge wolfhound, Huan, which had been a gift from Orome. With his aid Luthien was able to escape and come to the place where Beren was imprisoned.

The bridge to the island was guarded with werewolves, but one by one Huan slew them all, including Draugluin, the sire of the werewolves of Angband. It had been fortold that Huan would only die by the jaws of the greatest wolf that ever lived, and knowing this, Sauron turned himself into a wolf. Believing himself to be the greatest wolf ever, he attacked Huan, but the wolfhound defeated him. Pinned down and gripped by the throat, Sauron was forced to relinquish the tower to Luthien and flee. It was here she found Beren mourning the loss of Finrod.

Cast out from Nargothrond, Celegorm and Curufin came upon Beren and Luthien. They attacked the pair but Beren managed to defeat Curufin while Huan turned against his former master, Celegorm. Although Luthien would not let Beren slay Curufin, Beren took his horse and weapons, including the knife Angrist.

Leaving Huan and Luthien in Doriath, Beren set out on his quest alone, but taking on the forms of the werewolf Draugluin and the vampire Thuringwethil, Luthien and Huan followed him. Although Huan was unable to go further, once they caught up with Beren, Luthien used her arts to turn Beren into Draugluin. Using those forms they reached the Gates of Angband which were guarded by another great wolf, Carcharoth. The wolf would not let them enter, but Luthien managed to fell him with a spell of sleeping.

Coming to Morgoth’s chamber, Luthien revealed herself to the Dark Lord, offering to sing to him as a minstrel, while still in wolf-form, Beren cowered beneath his throne. Overcome with his own dark desires, Morgoth succumbed to Luthien’s spells which put him and his entire court to sleep. Using Angrist, Beren then cut a silmaril from Morgoth’s iron crown, but the knife broke when he attempted to cut free a second one.

Fleeing the chamber as Morgoth began to stir, Luthien and Beren were again waylaid by Carcharoth as they attempted to leave Angband. Defending Luthien, Beren tried to drive off the wolf using the light of the silmaril as a weapon, but instead, Carcharoth bit off his hand and swallowed the jewel. Fire erupted inside the wolf, driving it mad, while Beren fell, close to death. As the inhabitants of Angband began to come forth, Beren and Luthien were then rescued by Thorondor and two other giant eagles, who carried them back to Doriath.

Eventually returning to Thingol’s court, Beren again asked to wed Luthien, claiming he had fulfilled his quest, in that a silmaril had come to Doriath in his hand, albeit in the stomach of the rampaging Carcharoth. Seeing in Beren something he had never seen before in a Mortal, this time Thingol consented of the marriage and the two were wed.

Carcharoth, however, in his madness had entered through the Girdle of Melian and was approaching Menegroth, burning and killing everything in his way. A great hunt was sent out to slay the wolf, but cornering it, Carcharoth managed to mortally wound Beren before Huan was able to kill it. As his fate had fortold, however, Huan too was killed in this great battle.

Beren’s tale does not end with his death, however, for telling his spirit to await for her in the Halls of Mandos, his spirit did indeed linger there until Luthien could join him. Luthien then died of grief, and came to the Halls of Mandos, where moved by her songs, Mandos summoned Beren to her. Because of her deeds, she was then given a choice whereby she could go to Valinor and forget her grieves, or secondly, she could return with Beren to Middle Earth as a Mortal, were both could live out their lives until their second deaths. This second choice was the one she chose, and in doing so, became the first of the Eldar to truly die and leave the world forever.



Places and names

Tarn Aeluin – Lake in Dorthonion where Barahir’s bandits had their lair.
Gorlim – Son of Angrim. One of Barahir’s bandits who eventually gave Sauron the whereabouts of the hidden lair.
Eilinel – Wife of Gorlim
Daeron – Elven minstrel who betrayed Luthien and Beren to Thingol
Huan – Wolfhound of Orome who aided Luthien and Beren.
Draugluin – Sire of the werewolves of Angband.
Thuringwethil – Vampire messenger of Sauron.
Carcharoth – Great wolf bred by Morgoth to be the bane of Huan.





Questions for discussion.

1) Why was Beren able to pass through the Girdle of Melian, and why did both he and Luthien fall in love with each other at first sight?

2) What did Melian mean when she said to Thingol, "...it is ill for you, whether Beren fail in his errand, or achieve it. For you have doomed either your daughter, or yourself. And now is Doriath drawn within the fate of a mightier realm."

3) Further to Finrod's ability to read minds, discussed in the previous assignment, here Finrod manages to disguise his party as Orcs, and later to contest Sauron with a battle of "songs of power". Is he a wizard of some sort?

4) What is the nature of the creatures,
a) Huan the Wolfhound
b) Draugluin
c) Carcharoth
d) Thuringwethil

5) Why do you suppose Angrist broke when Beren attempted to cut a second silmaril from Morgoth's crown?

6) Why were Beren and Luthien allowed to leave the Halls of Mandos after their deaths? How does the choice Luthien was given relate to the choice of Elrond, Elros, and Arwen in LotR?

If you have any queries of your own concerning this chapter, feel free to raise them.

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5) Why do you suppose Angrist broke when Beren attempted to cut a second silmaril from Morgoth's crown?


I think that it broke because Beren took the knife from Curufin. And Curufin was one of the sons of Feanor and so bound by the oath. The one silmaril was what Beren had come to get as Luthien's bride price, but the second silmaril he had no need for.
I hadn't really thought about the knife being bound to the oath because it once belonged to Curufin, Samwise, but I agree with what you say about Beren having no need for a second Silmaril.

I think that unlike so many others who coverted the Silmarils, Beren's only interest in them was because he had been quested to retrieve one in order to win Luthien's hand. He was working outside of the Curse of the Noldor because in a way he was working on a higher cause that demanded he get a Silmaril (unlike Thingol who had no need to ask for one, but who did ask).

There are definetly higher powers at work in the relationship between Beren and Luthien, and those same powers are working to help Beren win Luthien's hand. Because he has to gain one Silmaril they enable him to do so. When he decides to take a second, however, things change. Had he succeeded (for instance, by taking Morgoth's crown) he would be dooming himself to the fate and curses placed on the Silmarils because he was taking them by his own choice.

I think the knife breaking was no accident. A higher power was at work there, and the fact that the broken shard disturbed Morgoth in his sleep was an added warning to Beren that he must leave with just one gem. Beren and Luthien's fate together are very important to later events in the history of Middle earth, and are in my opinion, possibly even (going back to the Great Music of the Ainur) a theme woven by Eru himself when introducing tunes to quell the bitter music being composed by Melkor.
I always thought that Beren was working inside the oath of Feanor by claiming a Silmaril even if for Thingol, because what motivated Thingol to ask for the Silmarill was Beren. But that is a circular arguement I suppose...

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2) What did Melian mean when she said to Thingol, "...it is ill for you, whether Beren fail in his errand, or achieve it. For you have doomed either your daughter, or yourself. And now is Doriath drawn within the fate of a mightier realm."


I think that Melian is saying that the defences put on Doriath cannot defend Doriath from the future. The Oath of Feanor will doom Thingol and Luthien whether Beren fails or not. Doriath can no longer stay aloof, it must now play its part in the troubles of the world.
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2) What did Melian mean when she said to Thingol, "...it is ill for you, whether Beren fail in his errand, or achieve it. For you have doomed either your daughter, or yourself. And now is Doriath drawn within the fate of a mightier realm."
If Beren succeeds Thingol will bear the wrath of the sons of Feanor which will lead, as it actually happened, to the downfall of Doriath. Had Beren failed and been killed, Luthien would have hated her father for setting up such a difficult challenge; she would have withered away on some mound pining for her lost lover. At least that was my take on the story.
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1) Why was Beren able to pass through the Girdle of Melian, and why did both he and Luthien fall in love with each other at first sight?


because since the begining she said that her power was going to defend them of every evil ,and that no one should pass trough without the king or the queen´s consentement....,unless a bigger strenght impulsed that one,and not even melian´s power was going to restrain him/her....

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What did Melian mean when she said to Thingol, "...it is ill for you, whether Beren fail in his errand, or achieve it. For you have doomed either your daughter, or yourself. And now is Doriath drawn within the fate of a mightier realm."


well i agree with grondy Thumbs Up Smilie ,no more to say...

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3) Further to Finrod's ability to read minds, discussed in the previous assignment, here Finrod manages to disguise his party as Orcs, and later to contest Sauron with a battle of "songs of power". Is he a wizard of some sort?


i think that was part of the things they learned overseas there in valinor....though finrod succeded in their knowledge....

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4) What is the nature of the creatures,
a) Huan the Wolfhound
b) Draugluin
c) Carcharoth
d) Thuringwethil


i got canfused about this question....huan a hound...,draugluin a lycantrop.....,carcharoth the greatest and the most evil wolf ,and thuringwethil was a giant bat...(or vampire,because i think he had transmutation powers also)

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6) Why were Beren and Luthien allowed to leave the Halls of Mandos after their deaths? How does the choice Luthien was given relate to the choice of Elrond, Elros, and Arwen in LotR


i think they were allowed to leave because of luthien and beren´s love, because even mandos felt touched about it,and i think that the lesson is that eru knew everything since the begining, so he allowed her to choose the way she wanted to be judged.....,and that way the rest of their kin was allowed to choose the breed they wanted to(sorry ,i do not know if breed is correct to be aplied to their species...,if it is,pls tell me,otherwise pls correct me....thnx guys)

¿what happened here????,anybody knows????why is my post this way????,can it be corrected?????pls???

[Edited on 6/2/2003 by THINGOL77]

(Plastic says: You didn't close your quotes properly Thingol mate, the opening "quote" (yeah I know it should be in square brackets but..) should be closed with "/quote" not just "quote" again, okay? Smile Smilie )

[Edited on 6/2/2003 by PlasticSquirrel]
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1) Why was Beren able to pass through the Girdle of Melian, and why did both he and Luthien fall in love with each other at first sight?

Basically, it was fate, as though the story of Beren and Luthien were woven into the music of Illuvatar.
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And he passed throught the mazes that Melian wove about the kingdom of Thingol, even as she had foretold; for a great doom lay upon him.

But as she looked on him, doom fell upon her, and she loved him.

Also I think that Beren was like a lost soul wandering through the wilderness, desperate and full of grief. Which is why he was able to pass through the Girlde of Melian (a force which caused trespassers to become bewildered and confused), because it was not unlike to the rest of his wanderings.

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2) What did Melian mean when she said to Thingol, "...it is ill for you, whether Beren fail in his errand, or achieve it. For you have doomed either your daughter, or yourself. And now is Doriath drawn within the fate of a mightier realm."

If Beren were to fail, Luthien's spirit would fade with sorrow and she would die from grief over her lost lover. If Beren were to succeed, Thingol would fall under the wrath of the sons of Feanor, bound by their oath. At the mere request of Thingol for Beren to bring him a Silmaril, whether he fail or not, Doriath is now drawn within the fate of the Noldor; such is the dreadful power of the Oath of Feanor and the Curse of Mandos.

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6) Why were Beren and Luthien allowed to leave the Halls of Mandos after their deaths? How does the choice Luthien was given relate to the choice of Elrond, Elros, and Arwen in LotR?

Mandos was so moved by Luthien's grief and her song of the sorrows of the Two Kindreds, which in the case of Luthien and Beren hit the hardest as the troubles of both races were strongly intertwined in their love; that he pitied them and so gave Luthien the choice granted by Illuvatar himself, like the choice given to Elrond, Elros and Arwen: whether to be Elf or human. But her choice relates more closely to Arwen's because Elrond and Elros were half-elves, which was not allowed by Illuvatar therefore they had to choose one race or the other, but Arwen and Luthien were pure Elves, but were allowed to choose because of their love for a human so that they may never be parted from the one they loved.
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... but Arwen and Luthien were pure Elves,...
Except Arwen was not pure Elf: Elrond her father was half-elven (I think someone recently figured out that he was more like 9/16 elven which would make Arwen something like 25/32 elven) but your point is well taken anyway.
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I always thought that Beren was working inside the oath of Feanor by claiming a Silmaril even if for Thingol, because what motivated Thingol to ask for the Silmarill was Beren. But that is a circular arguement I suppose...
Yes, Beren would have been subject to the Oath of Feanor, Samwise, because that involved anyone who kept a Silmaril from the Feanor or his sons. Hence the trouble he had with Celegorm and Curufin.

Do not confuse the Oath with the Curse of the Noldor though. Although the Curse of the Noldor came about because of the Kin-Slaying and the defiance shown to the Valar, it was all tied up with the fate of the Silmarils. I think in a way Mandos's Doom seemed to spread to anyone who willingly went out of their way to covert a Silmaril. In this Thingol was found guilty, and thus d@mned himself. Beren, however, was after a Silmaril as a means to an end, and therefore innocent of this Doom until he tried to take a second.
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2) What did Melian mean when she said to Thingol, "...it is ill for you, whether Beren fail in his errand, or achieve it. For you have doomed either your daughter, or yourself. And now is Doriath drawn within the fate of a mightier realm."
All of your answers to this are as I see them. Either Luthien will die of grief if Beren fails, or Thingol will invoke the wrath of the sons of Feanor if Beren succeeds. Who do you suppose the Mightier realm is that Melian refers to? It seems strange she would call the Noldor this unless she is calling them it to emphasise to Thingol just how great a problem he has involved himself in.
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1) Why was Beren able to pass through the Girdle of Melian, and why did both he and Luthien fall in love with each other at first sight?
Yes, it is fate. I believe Beren is one of the themes Eru wove into the Great Music to thwart Melkor. Melian had even seen this when she first wove the Girdle. I like your idea of Beren lost in his wonderings though, Arwen. If Eru is controlling Beren through a theme of music, he perhaps cannot just pick him up and place him where he wants him etc, he maybe has to do things subtly (even though he is God). Maybe the terrible misfotunes Beren had suffered were instigated by Eru just as a means to an end, the task being to get Beren through the Girdle.
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6) Why were Beren and Luthien allowed to leave the Halls of Mandos after their deaths?
If Beren was a theme woven by Eru, we must ask to what purpose? It wasn't just to steal a Silmaril from Morgoth's crown, even though it did give the Free People of Beleriand hope when they really needed it.

A look at the family trees in the back of the book will show you just how important this union was to the future of Middle Earth, even though it was not mentioned in this chapter. When Luthien chose the life of a Mortal, it was said to her that her line would never die. A look at the family tree shows the descendants of this union to be Elrond as well as all of the Kings of Numenor, Arnor and the Chieftains of the Rangers of the North. A very important line, instrumental in Middle Earths future struggles against Sauron.
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How does the choice Luthien was given relate to the choice of Elrond, Elros, and Arwen in LotR?
Luthien, through love for Beren, sacrificed her immortality. Had she not done this, and had married an Elf and had children, those children would have been immortal. I think this is why Elrond, Elros and Arwen were all given the choice themselves. Taking away the Gift of Man was not in Mandos's power so the choice fell on the individual. Even though Elrond chose the Elven path, his choice could not deny the Gift of Man to Arwen either, because if Elrond had chosen the Path of Men, the Gift would have been hers.

The choice does not seem to have been given to Elros's line. Once he chose to accept the Gift of Men, that seems have been it for his descendants too, even though many of them yearned for immortality. To me, this indicates that the Gift of Man superceeds Elven immortality on earth, because once accepted it seems to be the fate of your children too.
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4) What is the nature of the creatures,
a) Huan the Wolfhound
b) Draugluin
c) Carcharoth
d) Thuringwethil
What I was trying to highlight here, Thingol, is what are the true natures of these creatures. There is no way for example that Huan is just a hound. Anyone have any ideas?

Is everyone happy with other aspects of this chapter, or have any other points they wish to share about it?
Heh...I know I am not given the go-ahead to post anything yet but please read:

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2) What did Melian mean when she said to Thingol, "...it is ill for you, whether Beren fail in his errand, or achieve it. For you have doomed either your daughter, or yourself. And now is Doriath drawn within the fate of a mightier realm."
I figured that what she meant was that if Beren achieves it, it bode the end of Thingol as can be seen when Thingol was killed by the dwarves he hired to help make the necklace Naug-sumthing....and if Beren fails it, Luthien will die as Luthien was with Beren at that time. I don't think she meant Luthien wioll die of grief but instead be captured by Morgoth. This is what I think as Melian was said to have the power of foresight...so she should be a ble to see roughly what will happen right? And what is meant was that the interference with Morgoth will make him turn his eye to them and attempt to crush them for stealing the silmaril.

3) Further to Finrod's ability to read minds, discussed in the previous assignment, here Finrod manages to disguise his party as Orcs, and later to contest Sauron with a battle of "songs of power". Is he a wizard of some sort?
I think I read somewhere that he was taught in Valinor about learning th songs of power.

4) What is the nature of the creatures,
a) Huan the Wolfhound
b) Draugluin
c) Carcharoth
d) Thuringwethil
Well to this question, I can only answer that Huan was a celestial hound from Valinor, and came together with the elves. He was given 3 times to speak and he spoke to help Luthien(that is one) and before he died(that is the third), I forgot when was the second time he spoke....

err...I forget to add that Huan was prophesised to die in a batlle with the greatest wolf in the world, which is Carcharoth
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Except Arwen was not pure Elf: Elrond her father was half-elven

I'd always just assumed that because Elrond had chosen to be an Elf, that his offspring were automatically pure Elven (but that was because I didn't yet know or fully understand Elrond's genealogy) and I'd thought that Arwen, like Luthien, was given the choice of mortality because of her great love for Aragorn. But prompted by Grondy's post I've now read more on Elrond and the other half-elves and now I finally understand. Thanks Grondmaster Big Smile Smilie
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If Eru is controlling Beren through a theme of music, he perhaps cannot just pick him up and place him where he wants him etc, he maybe has to do things subtly (even though he is God). Maybe the terrible misfotunes Beren had suffered were instigated by Eru just as a means to an end

I believe that that's exactly how God does things - afterall it's a good way of explaining why **** happens.
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4) What is the nature of the creatures,
a) Huan the Wolfhound
b) Draugluin
c) Carcharoth
d) Thuringwethil

I believe that they are all Maiar, like the Valar they are able to take physical form (as though it were raiment for their spirits) and walk among the creatures/beings of Middle Earth.
Huan was the wolfhound of Orome; and it is written that Orome would often go into Middle-earth (before the Elves awoke and the Calaquendi came to Aman) with his host (which would be Maiar) to hunt monsters and fell beasts; and that Orome delights in horses and hounds, which is probably why Huan took the form of a hound.
As for the other three:
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For of the Maiar many were drawn into his(Melkor's) splendour in the days of his greatness, and remained in that allegiance down into his darkness
Addressing what MadWannabe mentioned:

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I figured that what she meant was that if Beren achieves it, it bode the end of Thingol as can be seen when Thingol was killed by the dwarves he hired to help make the necklace Naug-sumthing....and if Beren fails it, Luthien will die as Luthien was with Beren at that time. I don't think she meant Luthien wioll die of grief but instead be captured by Morgoth. This is what I think as Melian was said to have the power of foresight...so she should be a ble to see roughly what will happen right?


Thingol did not hire the dwarves to make Nauglamir. The dwarves first gave the necklace to Finrod. Thingol simply hired the dwarves to set the Silmaril into the Nauglamir which Hurin had given to him.

It is an interesting point you made though. Thingol was indeed killed by the dwarves in their greed, and not by the sons of Feanor. It is possible hence that Melian saw what would happen as a result of Thingol obtaining a Silmaril. In this case then it is also highly possible that your point about Luthien being captured and killed by Morgoth is correct.

But at the same time Melian did speak of Doriath being drawn into the fate of a mightier realm. What was this mightier realm that Melian spoke of? Would it be referring to the Noldor, or the Valar? In both cases, it would be logical to assume therefore that the prophecy was based on the Oath of Feanor (of the Noldor) or the Curse of Mandos (of the Valar), instead of Melian's foresight. Furthermore, if we read further, Thingol's heir, Dior, was killed later by the sons of Feanor, thus fulfilling the oath.

Looking at a different issue now...

Finrod may have learnt his abilities from Valinor. But what about Luthien? Her disguise (as well as Beren's) may have been assisted by Huan, who was likely to be a Maiar. Then how do we explain the sudden power Luthien to put Morgoth into a deep sleep? Was it an inherent power due to the fact that her mother Melian was a Maiar? Or was it simply another way that Eru intervened to fulfill his plans in the theme of music, similar to the incident where Beren's knife broke when he tried to take a second Silmaril?
I think that it is both Erkenbrand. Melian was perhaps sent to Middle-Earth as part of Eru's plan, and part of the plan was that she should pass on some of her powers to Luthien.

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1) Why was Beren able to pass through the Girdle of Melian, and why did both he and Luthien fall in love with each other at first sight?


because since the begining she said that her power was going to defend them of every evil ,and that no one should pass trough without the king or the queen´s consentement....,unless a bigger strenght impulsed that one,and not even melian´s power was going to restrain him/her....



I really like this Thingol. Thumbs Up Smilie
The mightier realm that Melian mentioned was the realm of Morgoth. Luthien's sudden power to put Morgoth to sleep was because she has a cloak (which supposedly supposed to be made from her hair) and she sang while she made it...so it can be assumed that she knew the songs of power and her cloak was therefore bestowed the ability to make people fall asleep. And she made Morgoth fell asleep with her cloak and dance. I admit that I was wrong that Thingol made the dwarves make the Nauglamir and Erkenbrand was right. ( what can I say? I don't have the book with me? Tongue Smilie )
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What I was trying to highlight here, Thingol, is what are the true natures of these creatures. There is no way for example that Huan is just a hound. Anyone have any ideas?


oops ...,now i get it....,sorry val Wink Smilie , my mistake....,well a think that as well as Draugluin ,as Thuringwethil were created from morgoth´s will,the same as dwarves were,before eru decided to adopt them.....however, as well as trolls,they depend upon melkor´s will and power to exist...,even though they were not part of him any more,(like dragons...)

i think Carcharoth was just the final product of a long breed of wolves, breeded to be as evil as morgoth wanted to,though they were created at the begining by yavana.....,and they were deformed by morgoth.....,(good things deformed to evil things,just like orcs)

and as for huan, i think he was one of the things created by yavana,though since he was from orome´s house,and the given to Celegorm as a gift,i think he was like Carcharoth though he was not evil....,well,maybe because he did not have to live with melkor.....,(i think melkor is not a nice neighbor, don´t you think so) Wink Smilie


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I really like this Thingol.


thnx sam, long time no see....

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The mightier realm that Melian mentioned was the realm of Morgoth.


i disagree,mad,i think she was thinking in valinor,because that was the mightiest realm of all on earth, exceeded just by eru´s realm....,even though i di not think she was speaking about eru´s.....,i think she was speaking about valinor,(manwe´s realm)..... Wink Smilie

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she made Morgoth fell asleep with her cloak and dance.


i think morgoth slept because of her beautines and her song.....,she throw a spell on him....i think.... Wink Smilie
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and part of the plan was that she should pass on some of her powers to Luthien


I like your thought here Samwise. I feel that it is entirely possible that Melian passed down some serious knowledge to Luthien. In fact, I also have my own theory that Galadriel also learned a great deal from Melian as well. Obviously Galadriel learned a lot from her time spent in Valinor, but I really feel that she acquired a great deal of her knowledge, and power from all her time spent with Melian, and I see this as one of the key contributing factors (not to mention that she was in the bloodline of Indis the fair) as to why she was the most powerful elf on Middle Earth in the time of the third age. In fact I kind of view Galadriel now as sort of a third age version of Melian, kind of fulfilling that role, even though she was not Maiar like Melian was.

Also, I just wanted to add that I enjoyed reading what everyone had to say in regards to this assignment. I agree with a lot of the points that have been raised. I knew that there would be a significant response to this assignment since the chapter we are currently discussing is a lot of people’s favorite. There really wasn’t much left for me to say after everyone else tore into this one. Good job everyone!
Orc With Thumbs Up Smilie
Well done all of you. You are making some really good, insightful posts. Some of the questions I have raised, (for instance, the "mightier realm" which Melian spoke of) I do not know the answer to myself, but it is by asking questions and discussing them that we learn possibilities we had not before thought of.

As far as the Mightier Realm question was concerned, I always assumed until a few weeks ago that she was refering to the Noldor. As I wrote this assignment, however, it occurred to me that this was a strange way to describe them to Thingol, unless it was as a warning to him. I then began thinking she was possibly referring to Eru as Beren is most likely a tool of Eru. Beren's fate was tied to Doriath with or without a silmaril, however, so I don't think she was referring to Eru here.

Valinor springs to mind, but I don't think Melian was worried about any danger coming from there. Stealing a silmaril from Morgoth would obviously cause problems as Morgoth's rage would be turned toward Doriath, whereas until then it had been pretty much ignored.

Personally, however, I have gone back to my original thoughts, that she indeed meant the Noldor. Describing them as a mightier realm would be a way of highlighting to Thingol that it would be ill advised to go to war with them. Obviously this my own personal viewpoint and not a definitive answer.

Again, the question about the nature of Huan and the other creatures is open to arguement. Although Yavanna was able to create animals, anything considered as "free thinking" was supposed to be beyond their capabilities. Of the Ainur that entered Ea in the beginning, many were considered much lesser than the Valar. Among the Maiar, some would have been more powerful than others, and some lesser. Of these lesser spirits, I believe some became Ents and Eagles, while some where corrupted by Morgoth and became evil fell creatures. These fell creatures included werewolves and vampires.

Huan, Draugluin, and Thuringwethil were all ancient creatures, and all appeared to have a greater than animal intellegence. In my opinion they were indeed Maian spirits. Carcharoth, on the other hand, though a descendant of Dragluin, in my opinion was not Maian. He had been taken as a cub by Morgoth, and raised using evil magics until he grew huge and terrible. He appears to act very much on animal instincts, however, rather than with the intellegence of the others.
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Melian was perhaps sent to Middle-Earth as part of Eru's plan, and part of the plan was that she should pass on some of her powers to Luthien.
When Eru wove his themes into the music to counter Melkor's, many of the Ainur joined him. I think in this case Melian was one of those. The initial meeting between Melian and Thingol had very much that "hand of God" feel about it, just as Luthien and Beren's had. I think Eru wanted the blood of the kings of Men to be enriched with the blood of Elf and Maiar. It is after all, Melian's blood that has strengthened the Numenorian and Dunedain kings. I think, as a tool of Eru, this was Beren's main function in life, and hence the reason he was allowed back out of the Halls of Mandos.
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It is an interesting point you made though. Thingol was indeed killed by the dwarves in their greed, and not by the sons of Feanor. It is possible hence that Melian saw what would happen as a result of Thingol obtaining a Silmaril.
Someone recently asked elsewhere in the forum, why the Valar had banned the Noldor from returning to Middle Earth in the first place. Like the Ring of Power, I believe there are some things that were made that contained too much power for the Children of Eru to control. Unlike the Ring of Power, I don't think the Silmarils were evil or even sentient, but their beauty was too great for most beings to be unaffected by. The light from them was holy, created from the light of the Two Trees, and placed into them by the greatest elven craftsman of all time (and even Feanor admitted, he could never make their like ever again). A Silmaril was a dangerous and beautiful thing, therefore, and Melian knew this. I think the reason she warned Thingol against this course of action was the same reason the Valar did not want the Noldor to go to war over them.

Thank you all for your contributions.
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In fact I kind of view Galadriel now as sort of a third age version of Melian, kind of fulfilling that role, even though she was not Maiar like Melian was.
That is an image I have long held myself, Elfstone. There are a lot of similarities, not the least being the Girdle of Melian, and the way in which Galadriel kept her own realm hidden using the power of her ring.
That is an image I have long held myself, Elfstone. There are a lot of similarities, not the least being the Girdle of Melian, and the way in which Galadriel kept her own realm hidden using the power of her ring.


Val, that’s just another precious gem of knowledge that finally getting around to reading the Silmarillion has unlocked for me. I’m glad we see it the same way, that makes me feel like maybe I’m finally getting somewhere (in terms of the bigger picture of Tolkiens world)!
Good Morning Smilie

[Edited on 11/2/2003 by Elfstone]
guys...i fell confused about some points, maybe i uderstood things different.. Wink Smilie ..for example...

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Valinor springs to mind, but I don't think Melian was worried about any danger coming from there. Stealing a silmaril from Morgoth would obviously cause problems as Morgoth's rage would be turned toward Doriath, whereas until then it had been pretty much ignored.


i think the she was not saying that the mightier realm was going to harm them,but that the fate beren was going to have was predeterminated....i thought it was decided by manwe,but when i wrote this post ,something made a click in my brain(beleive it or not Big Laugh Smilie ),and then i realized that destiny was decided not by manwe,but by eru...,and therefore i think that she might be referring to eru´s will...,and whose realm was the mightest...

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Again, the question about the nature of Huan and the other creatures is open to arguement. Although Yavanna was able to create animals, anything considered as "free thinking" was supposed to be beyond their capabilities.



even though she created elvar and olvar....,and they are alive and think by themselves......not depending on her will to exist...

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Of the Ainur that entered Ea in the beginning, many were considered much lesser than the Valar. Among the Maiar, some would have been more powerful than others, and some lesser. Of these lesser spirits, I believe some became Ents and Eagles


remember that when aule did dwarves,they did not have thoughts by themselves,but the n eru told him that he was going to adopt them,and the he did....later,when yavana found out....she went to manwe and told him about his feelings, and them manwe sought for eru´s advice....when he got back to her, he told her that as well as her thoughts wanted ents, he flew with her during the ainurs song, and then manwe asked for the eagles to exist, as well as for ents.....and eru adopted them also as he did with aule´s children....

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while some where corrupted by Morgoth and became evil fell creatures. These fell creatures included werewolves and vampires.


remember that these lesser spirits were called valaraukar(balrogs)and they were maiar turned to the dark side....,i think that as well as for trolls, dragons, vampires, werewolves....they were all created from morgoth´s will and directly from their thoughts....as eru told aule about the dwarves....,maybe that is why morgoth lost powers while he gained forces here in earth....we will see that soon....

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Huan, Draugluin, and Thuringwethil were all ancient creatures, and all appeared to have a greater than animal intellegence. In my opinion they were indeed Maian spirits.


same thing,had they been maiar, thay would be able to speak more frecuently.., because maiar were evolved forms, and i thought they were superior than humans and elves....as gandalf,or radagast,or melian...

and the two later depended completely on their master´s will....,different from huan,but if he had been a maiar himself....would he had died? because die he did...,and never got back to the earth....


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Carcharoth, on the other hand, though a descendant of Dragluin, in my opinion was not Maian. He had been taken as a cub by Morgoth, and raised using evil magics until he grew huge and terrible. He appears to act very much on animal instincts, however, rather than with the intellegence of the others.


share your point of view...

that is what i thought these days... Wink Smilie .pls give me some light if i am wrong....thnx Big Smile Smilie

[Edited on 12/2/2003 by THINGOL77]
Like I said at the start, Thingol, many of the questions which I raised here are not answered by Tolkien, and are thus down to individual to decide. In some there is not a right or a wrong, and in some there will be two schools of thought with equally compelling arguements.

Your viewpoint about the mightier realm being Eru's... I just cannot make my mind up about this one. One minute I'm inclined to agree with you, the next I think she means the Noldor. I must get a copy of Tolkien's letters incase JRR shed any light on this one.
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even though she created elvar and olvar....,and they are alive and think by themselves......not depending on her will to exist...
I agree, she did create the Kelvar which did think, and did not require her thought to function. By Free Thinking, hoever, I was referring to the things that could reason etc with more than animal intellegence. I maybe should have said the Speaking Races... Elves, Dwarves, Men, Ents, Eagles... Beings such as these were beyond the capabilities of the Valar, because within them burned the Flame Imperishable which only Eru could give.
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remember that when aule did dwarves,they did not have thoughts by themselves,but the n eru told him that he was going to adopt them,and the he did....later,when yavana found out....she went to manwe and told him about his feelings, and them manwe sought for eru´s advice....when he got back to her, he told her that as well as her thoughts wanted ents, he flew with her during the ainurs song,and then manwe asked for the eagles to exist, as well as for ents.....and eru adopted them also as he did with aule´s children....
I agree with the first part of what you say here, Thingol, but I interpret the latter bit differently to you. Manwe spoke to Eru about Yavanna's wish, and what Eru did was show him more clearly what had already been played in the Great Music so he could see better those things that had been sung by the other Ainur. Manwe was then able to return to Yavanna and let her know the good news.

From The Silmarillion
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When the Children awake, then the thought of Yavanna will awake also, and it will summon spirits from afar, and they will go among the kelvar and the olvar, and some will dwell therein, and be held in reverence.
I believe these spirits have to be Ainur as there are no other beings in Ea at this time. If they are Ainur, they would have taken part in the Great Music too, which is confirmed in this quotation,

From The Silmarillion
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"Yet it was in the Song," said Yavanna. "For while thou wert in the heavens and with Ulmo built the clouds and poured out the rains, I lifted up the branches of great trees to receive them, and some sang to Iluvatar amid the wind and the rain.
I think Yavanna is saying here, that others of the Ainur were joining her in her themes, and it was these that later entered the trees to become Ents.

If I am correct here, it does also make your statement that Eru adopted them partially correct, because he had afterall created every one of the Ainur to begin with.
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remember that these lesser spirits were called valaraukar(balrogs)and they were maiar turned to the dark side
The Valaraukar were not the only Ainur that Melkor managed to corrupt though. They were just some of the most powerful.

From The Silmarillion
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For of the Maiar many were drawn to his splendour in the days of his greatness, and remained in that allegiance down into his darkness; and others he corrupted afterwards to his service with lies and treacherous gifts. Dreadful among these spirits were the Valaraukar, the scouges of fire that in Middle Earth were called the Balrogs, demons of terror.
Personally, I still believe that the werewolves and vampires were corrupted spirits of the Ainur, loyal to, but independant of Melkor's will.

In your arguement you also mention dragons and trolls. Trolls I believe are corrupted Ents, like the Orcs are corrupted Elves, but Dragons I am unsure of. If the early dragons flew, I would argue they were corrupted eagles, but as they didn't, I've really no idea. They may have been Kelvar which Melkor selectively bred into Dragons, in which case he would have to impart his own will into them to control them.
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same thing,had they been maiar, thay would be able to speak more frequently.., because maiar were evolved forms, and i thought they were superior than humans and elves....as gandalf,or radagast,or melian...
The lesser Maiar took many forms, and the likes of Melian, Gandalf etc were some of the more powerful ones. I think among the many lesser Ainur, some would be quite weak. I don't think it's unfeasible for some of these to take the forms of hounds and wolves etc. And don't underestimate Huan's powers just because he spoke only three times.

From The Silmarillion
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But no wizardry nor spell, neither fang nor venom, nor devil's art nor beast-strength, could overthrow Huan of Valinor.
In this battle he did manage to defeat Wolf-Sauron. In my opinion he was one of the Maiar who followed Orome into Ea.

Part of your arguement here was that if Huan was Maiar he would not have died. This is not necessarily true, depending on how we view death in Middle Earth. Huan's body died in this story, but it does not mention his spirit. If he was Maiar, he could well have returned to Valinor after the death of his body, similar to how Gandalf did after his battle with the Balrog. In Gandalf's case he was sent back to Middle Earth because his task was not completed, but in Huan's case, his task was completed.
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that is what i thought these days... .pls give me some light if i am wrong....thnx
Not wrong, Thingol. Just of different opinions. It's a pleasure discussing this with you.


I'm not sure if this was mentioned in previous posts. But here goes anyway.

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6) Why were Beren and Luthien allowed to leave the Halls of Mandos after their deaths? How does the choice Luthien was given relate to the choice of Elrond, Elros, and Arwen in LotR?


I think it was because of their love. The Valar noticed that their love was pure. They did not go after the Silmaril because of greed, lust, or hatred, but LOVE.

Elrond & Elros being her children were given the option of choosing mortality or immortality, because of Luthien's choice. Elrond chose immortality with the elves and Elros chose mortality. Elrond's decendants (Arwen included) were allowed to chose between the 2, but once mortality is choosen like Elros did, the decendants do not have the choice. I think this is because the Valar knew that death was a special gift and would not or could not take that away from anyone.

Just some thoughts. May have gone a little off topic.

you know val, i liked most of the points of view you shared with us...i reviewed my notes and yes, there is a part that says that iluvatar told manwe that there were going to be spirits,come from afar and that they would live inside kelvar(you were also right about the spelling)and the olvar...and that they were going to be lesser spirits whose mission would be to protect the life that yavana breed....so you were right.....

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Trolls I believe are corrupted Ents, like the Orcs are corrupted Elves, but Dragons I am unsure of. If the early dragons flew, I would argue they were corrupted eagles....


well, i think i read somewhere that trolls depended on melkor´s will,because he could not create life due to the lack of the imperishable flame....,even so, fangorn says that they are like vulgar imitation from ents,but ents were greater the the formers, that way on TRotK armys stood there without will to fight because the power that controlled them had its thoughts far from the battle field...
and besides i have thought that description of orcs and elves show some similarities,like ears...,or unmortality...like if evolution (or deformation)took different ways in them,and even though, they had similar anatomical things....,but in the trolls and ents case, they could have belonged to defferent forms of life,because ents were treelike,while trolls were like humanoids....so they share no similarity.....not even inteligence....and when they die, trolls become rock....like if they were animated trough some kind of spell(magic)and when the spell broke,they returned to their original from....

at the beggining i thought that same thing happened with dragons, werewolves and vampires......, but then i thought that they might have been lesser spirits from the maiar, because the could think on their own,and they did not depend on melkor´s will.....,but on the contrary,they could also dominate armys as sauron. that way they would be as shelob,who was a lesser siprit....tha way they would not have to be deformed kelvar,but they could have been spirits who took the shape they wanted to...i think that would support your theory.... Wink Smilie


well the conclussion should be that i really need to get the book on its original language.... Big Laugh Smilie ,because part of the meaning gets lost at the translation.....same reason why i rarely quote the book, because i could deform the meaning during the translation.....

thank you for the light you have given me,had you not given me those quotes..., i would have never had the basis from the book on its original language...so therefore thnx again....

[Edited on 14/2/2003 by THINGOL77]
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i think the she was not saying that the mightier realm was going to harm them,but that the fate beren was going to have was predeterminated....i thought it was decided by manwe,but when i wrote this post ,something made a click in my brain(beleive it or not Big Laugh Smilie ),and then i realized that destiny was decided not by manwe,but by eru...,and therefore i think that she might be referring to eru´s will...,and whose realm was the mightest...


I agree with you here Thingol. I think that everything except Morgoth is in the realm of Eru because I think Eru's spirit flows through all the workings of the Valar and thus the Elves.
Val I also liked your thought on Carchorath not being Maiar because he acts on animal instincts.
Regarding 'thought', I think in the Sil. it is used more often in a metephorical sense. I think when it is used with the Ainur it means that they created the olvar, kelvar etc. with their thoughts (and so music). When used with Morgoth and later Sauron, you get a darker sense of 'thought', because the Dark Lords control their creations (or corruptions) with their thoughts, like the example Thingol gave of the armies in Mordor.
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Regarding 'thought', I think in the Sil. it is used more often in a metephorical sense. I think when it is used with the Ainur it means that they created the olvar, kelvar etc. with their thoughts (and so music). When used with Morgoth and later Sauron, you get a darker sense of 'thought', because the Dark Lords control their creations (or corruptions) with their thoughts, like the example Thingol gave of the armies in Mordor.
Yes, Sam, I agree with this. In some of my past posts when I have said the Valar could not create "thinking" beings, it has caused confusion because animals obviously do think, they just do it at a different level to humans (and in Tolkien's world, Elves etc).

I think in some religious arguements they say only humans can go to Heaven because animals do not possess souls. I think this is the idea I was using, and the one which Tolkien was using as a guideline to differentiate between "thinking races" and the Kelvar.

The Valar were thus able to create animals, because they did not require this "soul", whereas they could not create other races because only Eru could give the soul part of their being.

I think what Melkor and Sauron were doing, apart from twisting existing races to form their own creations (eg elves to orcs), was exerting "mind-control" over their armies, either because they did not trust them without this control, or because they were too stupid to act without it.