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Thread: Random Questions From Newbies

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Quite often we receive a post from a new member introducing themselves to the site, who then ask a series of LotR related questions. Frequently these questions are easy to answer, but the introduction thread is not the best place to answer them. Unfortunately, if there is more than one question, it is often difficult to then direct that new member to the relevent thread where their questions are answered.

To solve this, then, I have opened this thread where such questions can be pasted and answered. If any of you come across such questions and feel you know the answer, feel free to paste them here with your answer, but please remember to leave a link in the relevent post so that the new member can find their way here.

I shall begin with a series of questions posted today by Obsessed......

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Where did Sauron come from?


Before the beginning of time, Eru, the one god, created the Valar and the Maiar. These were powerful, deity-like spirits who helped create Ea, the earth. The Maiar tended to serve the more powerful Valar but some were very powerful in their own right. Sauron was one such Maiar spirit.

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What are the wizards?


The wizards are what are known as Istari. Like Sauron, they too are Maiar spirits who have been sent to Middle Earth by the Valar to help the Free People of Middle Earth combat Sauron. They are under instruction to assist the Free People, however, and are not supposed to become tyrants in their own right as Saruman eventually did. Also, so that they can better understand the hearts of Men, they have been cloaked in the flesh of old men. There are five named wizards (Saruman, Gandalf, Radagast, Alatar, and Pallando), but there may have been more.

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What is Tom B.? (And his wife seems very close to nature, could she be an entwife in a changed form?)


This has been discussed at great length in the various Tom Bombadil threads, and for a full answer you are best seeking your answer there. Basically, Tolkien did not explain what Tom was, beyond that he was an "enigma". Personally I believe he was another Maiar spirit, but others have different theories, including some who feel that Tom is actually Eru.

Goldberry is said to be the River Daughter. I think she is another Maiar spirit, in this case a water spirit.

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Is Mr. Willow a Heuron?


Tolkien did not say so specifically, but I believe Old Man Willow was a Huorn. He certainly had the characteristics of one.

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What happened in the first age (this seems like one of the more interesting ages.)


This one really is too long for here. Two thirds of the Silmarillion are concerned with this age.

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Why send Legolas on the fellowship when Glorfindel seems much more suited for the job of fighting off Nazgoul and other bag guys?


Several reasons really.
1) Glorfindel was needed for the defence of Rivendell.
2) He may have felt he had already done his bit during the first two ages.
3) Legolas represented the Wood Elves, and as they greatly outnumbered the surviving Noldor Elves, it was felt they should be involved in the affairs of Middle Earth.
4) Legolas volunteered. Glorfindel did not.
Thank you for the answers. Looks like I'm going to be picking up a copy of the Silmarillion very soon.
Errrr. Should I post my questions here? Wary Smilie Orc Going Huh Smilie
Quote:
Errrr. Should I post my questions here?


If there were any unanswered ones from when you first joined, Floyd, I guess this would be a good place. After people have been here a while, though, most should be able to find the relevent threads elsewhere.
Thanks for the starter info. I have read LOTR, and The Hobbit mutiple times, but I am new to The Silmarillion and History of Middle Earth. I was wondering if there is an order that is best to read them. Or if I should just go in order? Read Smilie
Thanks!
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but I am new to The Silmarillion and History of Middle Earth. I was wondering if there is an order that is best to read them.


Definitely read The Silmarillion first Polo, then UT after that. HOME should probably be the last thing you read regarding Tolkienís Ea (world).
Elf Winking Smilie
If I may add to that, elfy, I would say read the Sil, then Unfinished Tales, and then go back and re-read LOTR. You will be stunned by what you missed the first time, and will enjoy the books on a far different level.
That's a pretty good observation, Olorin. Certainly regards the history and geneologies of the characters and races, so much more is clear. Along a similar vein, I spent quite a few years playing Middle Earth Roleplaying which uses very detailed maps of Middle Earth. When I first read LotR I was a little lost as to where the characters were actually heading etc. After playing MERP, however, the geography was so much clearer.
Thanks Elf, I am going to start The Silmarillion tomorrow. Read Smilie
If you want to know lots of things about Middle Earth, but feel that the Silmarillion is too daunting a read, I can recomend the Tolkien Bestiary, by David Day. Its got loads of info on the races, flora, fauna and history of Middle Earth as well as some info onth e battles, places and peoples. It also has a time line for all the ages, and its illustrated with some great artwork (and some not so great, but hey!)

ISBN of my hardback copy is: O 85533 188 7

its long out of print, though may be reprinted since my copy - I know there was a softback edition too.

anyway, its well worth it!
what happened with Melkor and Sauron. Wasn't Melkor part of the Maiar and he tried to become the top dog or something?
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what happened with Melkor and Sauron. Wasn't Melkor part of the Maiar and he tried to become the top dog or something?


Melkor was one of the Ainur (the greater of the holy ones, Maiar are the lesser spirits, servants to the Ainur), and in fact was considered to be the greatest, and most powerful of all the Ainur, his name literally translates to ďhe who arises in mightĒ.

The best way to think of Melkor is like a fallen angel (Tolkien uses this comparison himself in Letters of JRRT). He went directly against Eruís (the one God) wishes, and sought to create and rule for himself, which was forbidden by Eru, and fell to the ďdarksideĒ if you will. Sauron was originally a Maia servant to Melkor and was corrupted by him.
Elf Smilie
Yeah, if you're religious, he's basically Satan. NOT a nice guy. But he could've been nice. Ah, so sad... *tear tear*
How does Gandalf come to have Narya the Great when he is by no means elven.
Narya was originally entrusted to Cirdan, Lord of the Grey Havens, but he gave it into Gandalf's safekeeping as he may well have recognised Gandalf as being more than just a wise old man and Cirdan knew that Gandalf may well have need of the Red Ring's power to' rekindle hearts to the valour of old in a world that grows chill.'
You can find the source of Vee's above answer in Part Four of Unfinished Tales on the second page of Section 2, which is entitled 'The Istari'.
This bit about the rings is also in Appendix A of the LOTR. (where we learn that the 3 rings were originally bestowed with Gilgalad, Galadriel, and Cirdan. Gilgalad gave his to Elrond, and Cirdan did as Vee noted. ) I strongly recommend reading the appendices before the Sil. or UT if you haven't already. I read the LOTR before the Sil was even published, and they were all I could get. I consumed them. My impression from these threads is that people tend to skip them these days. But there is a lot about the Third Age that isn't anywhere else, or is not as well developed. There are also cultural aspects (especially, of course, the languages) that aren't told anywhere else.

I personally don't consider HOME part of the ME canon. Most of it is preliminary versions of other stories, and it frequently contradicts the more polished final versions. That isn't to say there is not some good reading there.
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what happened with Melkor


Maybe I've missed reading it but what happened to Melkor - as Sauron became the evil lord?
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Maybe I've missed reading it but what happened to Melkor - as Sauron became the evil lord?


From the Silmarillion :
Quote:

But Morgoth himself the Valar thrust through the Door of Night beyond the Walls of the World, into the Timeless Void; and a guard is set for ever on those walls, and Ešrendil keeps watch upon the ramparts of the sky. Yet the lies that Melkor, the mighty and accursed, Morgoth Bauglir, the Power of Terror and of Hate, sowed in the hearts of Elves and Men are a seed that does not die and cannot be destroyed; and ever and anon it sprouts anew, and will bear dark fruit even unto the latest days.
I'm currently "studyin" the history of middle earth and was wondering if it is actualy worth spending all that money on them 12 books?
I've already bought three and was planning on getting the whole collection gradually but just today from some reason I calculated how much it'd cost me and well... it made me wonder if it is worth all the money...
(the rest of the collection would be roughly 100pounds...)
To make this easier to understand (Unlike my Name 2, Name 3 post) I have decided to list the order in which I saw the movies and read the books:
Watched FOTR
Read the Hobbit
Read the Two Towers
Read ROTK
Watched the Two Towers
Watched ROTK
Watched the Hobbit
Discovered this Site
Read FOTR
*Is Now Reading the Sil.
**Note that I only marked the first time I saw and read them.

So anyways, I just watched all three movies recently, and was astounded by how much more sense things made to me! I mean, I understood what Galadriel meant by the "light of Ešrendil" being their "most beloved star". And what the scene with the 'light of the Eldar is fading' actually meant, and the Blade that was Broken, and a lot of other stuff. It's just so ... amazing. And now I read the Fellowship of the Ring (which I hadn't before because I thought the movie was close enough to work) and I'm surprised by it. I mean, some people make it out to be exactly like the movies, and others say that the movies are completely off target, and I was actually surprised at how close it was to what I thought it would be like...

Yeah ... so ... I haven't seen Virumor around lately, where'd he go?
The movies do throw a lotta things into light for you, don't they? I didn't really get the paths of the dead part, but the movie really made me understand that one.

As for old Virumor...now that you mention it, he does seem to be missing...maybe he went to visit his old auntie or something???
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I'm currently "studyin" the history of middle earth and was wondering if it is actualy worth spending all that money on them 12 books?
I've already bought three and was planning on getting the whole collection gradually but just today from some reason I calculated how much it'd cost me and well... it made me wonder if it is worth all the money...
(the rest of the collection would be roughly 100pounds...)


If you are on a tight budget, I'd recommend you skip a few of them and make it a priority to buy Books 10 and 11, Morgoth's Ring and The War of the Jewels. Whereas the earlier books in the HOME series are taken from some of Tolkien's very early drafts of the Silmarillion, or LotR, these two are fairly recent material (post LotR). They contain quite a lot of very interesting material which Christopher did not put in the Silmarillion.
Actually it was the other way around, it was the books(and this website) that shed light on things that they did or said in the movies.

Virumore: But ... he's gone ... he vanished ... I can't find any of his posts ... or his name on the member list ... does anyone know when or why he left though?
To put you out of your misery... Virumor is now Miruvor. There was a problem a while back and some members lost their identity and posts. We are still hoping to put that right.

HTH
At the risk of sounding like I'm trying to sound like I knew it all along: I suspected something of the sort.
So that's what happened to our dear old friend! Hey welcome back Miruvor!!! Pary Smilie
My theory is that VirumorAngel Smilie and Miruvor Good and Evil Smilie are not just the same person but alter-egos. In a battle of wills one night Miruvor Good and Evil Smilie destroyed Virumor Angel Smilie and banished him to the darkest pits of oblivion. Super Scared Smilie

Am I right, Mir? Police Smilie
Nah, Miruvor did something else entirely. He changed himself into a virus and invaded old Virumor's computer, then took everything of Virumor's into his own account....
*raises hand* I agree with Val.

I forgot to mention Vee. "No! Don't put me down! I don't wanna die! No!"

It did sound a lot like you were going to "put me out of my misery" and "put me to sleep"...like a dog...
Naw, Vee wouldn't do that to you. She is like a toothless fairy godmother, type whose bark tastes better than her bite: sort of a dark simi-sweet chocolate flavor. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
*has a violent coughing fit*

Well ... if you say that she tastes like chocolate (because that is basically what you're saying) ... I'll believe you Grendy.

*giggles* I'll never be able to get over Grendy, but "Grindy" will always be my favorite. Big Laugh Smilie
"Grindy"? That reminds me of someone green and grouchy who tried to steal Christmas...now who was that again?? Tired Santa Smilie
Kermit.
No, that was Oscar, moonlighting as Mister Gronch. Elf Sticking Tounge Out Smilie
Oscar the automaton train engineer? I liked him.
Hey Miruvor!!! You're BACK! Pary Smilie I had wondered if you had lost your account again... Rolling Eyes Smilie
*wipes tear from eye* What fond memories of Sesame Street...

Paranoid Smilie

I have a question of my own. Everyone always says that Elves had more control over their bodies than humans. What do they mean?
I think that is mainly down to their dexterity. As well as having more acute senses than Men, Elves are far more agile and dextrous. They also have that well known ability to die of grief, which I imagine takes a bit of doing.
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I have a question of my own. Everyone always says that Elves had more control over their bodies than humans. What do they mean?

Legolamb could mount a gallopping horse with one arm, whilst Aragorn got stuck on a Warg and gallopped off a cliff.

I think that example serves as enough explanation.
I don't know where I got this but I have always assumed that the elves were especially agile and comfortable in their bodies due to their long life.

With 3000 years of practice I'd probably be able to leap lightly and nimbly in precarious situations. Look at Jackie Chan - he's only been practicing for 40 years!

DId every one else just assume that elves are born with the ability?
I think their agility is something they inheritantly have rather than developing over a long period of time. Tolkien wrote an essay called "Of the laws and customs of the Eldar.....", which can be found in Morgoth's Ring, in which he wrote...

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The Eldar grew in bodily form slower than Men, but in mind more swiftly. They learned to speak before they were one year old; and in the same time they learned to walk and to dance, for their wills came soon to the mastery of their bodies.


Okay, not quite born dancing, but if they are able to do so at just one year old it does show they have this mastery very early.
If Elves grew in bodily form more slowly, but in mind quicker, I wonder what raising and elf-child would be like. Are there any portrayals of elf-children anywhere in tolkien's work? Everything I've come across so far -- even in the sil when the elves were younger -- seems to be about adult elves. I realize that when you live to be thousands of years old or more that you won't have quite so many children running around: I wonder if elves have an age past which they cannot bear children, or if that's only for us who get old and die.
I don't think there is an age after which elves cannot bear children, but generally they do tend to have them in the "younger" part of their lives. They also seem to generally have their children close together, rather than spreading them over a thousand years or so.

In HOME, it mentions elven parents are particularly close to their children when they are young, and for this reason find it important to bear their children during times of peace.
during times of peace, I see.... and that would of course be why they would wait to have kids till after Sauron was vanquished, if they hadn't done it already.
There was never peace in Middle-earth. That's why the Elves created realms there that were sheltered and almost impregnable for the outside world. There they could multiply as much as they liked.
Hi ,

does anyone have any further clues on what happened to Alatar, and Pallando... did they become corrupted and practice black magic and start cults in the east?

did the Ungoliant eat herself or get slain? if she ate herself why?

are there any Tolkien stories or books specifically about Dragons(not the hobbit) where the dragons are the main characters
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did the Ungoliant eat herself or get slain? if she ate herself why?

From 'Of the Flight of the Noldor' in The Silmarillion :
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...and even after Ungoliant herself departed, [from Nan Dungortheb, the Valley of Dreadful Death] and went whither she would into the forgotten south of the world, ... Of the fate of Ungoliant no tale tells. Yet some have said that she ended long ago, when her uttermost famine she devoured herself at last.
Well until the making of the Sun and Moon, the land had no further light sources for her to eat and the land was quite empty of peoples. And even later the Sun and Moon were out of the range of her foul webs, so she wasn't able to refuel the cold fires in her inner furnace and had to consume her own cells until there was nothing left of her and she faded away to a heap of ash.

How far south did she go, nobody knows whether she made it to the region of Gondor or the Hither Lands beyond, nor whether she perished before reaching Southern Beleriand, but Shelob was one of her later brood.

One of the readers of H.O.M.E. may have some further information that is less subjective than this conjecture of mine.