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Thread: The Edain

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Namo began this thread with the following post

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The story of the second children of Iluvatar is known by almost everyone who read a Tolkien's book. But the story of the kingdom of Arnor is not that especific, they were defeated by Angmar, but, why didn't Gondor came to their help? when did the conection between the two kingdom ended?


Virumor replied

I thought that an army of Gondor was underway, but they came too late to save Arnor from complete destruction.

If i'm not mistaken, Eärnur led that army and defeated the Witch-King of Angmar then; at this point, the Witch-King also challenged Eärnur for the first time but Glorfindel stopped Eärnur.

the last King of Arnor, Arvedui, then fled to the Forodwaith and drowned.

Yes after Cirdan sent a ship for him. And remember the Shire also sent some Hobbits to that war, and Gondor only came to help Arnor because time ago a king of Arnor (or Arthedain I don't remember) came in contact again with Gondor, when were the conection between the two kingdoms broken?
The realm of Arnor began to dwindle pretty early on its existance, never really recovering from Isildur's loss at the Battle of Gladden Fields in TA2.

What perhaps brought about the downfall, however, was when the tenth king, Earendur, died in TA 861. Arnor was then divided between his three sons, becoming Arthedain, Cardolan and Rhudaur. This weakened the realms as over time there was petty bickering between them and the Dunedain of Cardolan and Rhudaur quickly began to dwindle.

In TA 1349 Arthedain claimed lordship over the whole of Arnor once more because neither Cardolan or Rhudaur had anyone from the line of Isildur left alive, but Rhudaur backed by Angmar contested this claim thus beginning the war mentioned in the posts above. Over the next fifty years, Angmar managed to sack much of Arnor creating a front near Weathertop and the Weather Hills. At this time, they also besieged Rivendell.

In the wars that followed, Arnor received aid from Cirdan of the Grey Havens, a force led by Glorfindel from Rivendell, and elves from Lorien who Elrond led over the Misty Mountains. They received no aid from Gondor, however, who at the time were suffering from civil war (the Kin-strife war).

Arnor held back Angmar for the best part of two hundred years while Gondor fought sporadic wars against Umbar, but in 1636 the Great Plague devasted both Arnor and Gondor.

In TA 1940 Arnor and Gondor renewed communications, and the king of Arnor wed the daughter of the Gondorian king. In 1974, however, Angmar defeated Arnor and their king fled North where he died. His line continued from then on in hiding, sheltered by Rivendell.

At this stage, the Godorian king, Earnur, brought a fleet to Lindon and defeated the Witch-king's army at Fornost, driving the witch-king out of the North. Having defeated the Angmarian army, and driven the witch-king back to Mordor, Eriador was left pretty much deserted, the Dunedain surviving only as the Rangers.

Hopefully this has helped you a little, Namo. I think the splitting of Arnor into the three realms was possibly the time that communications between Arnor and Gondor broke down, though it was possibly the Great Plague that eventually caused the most damage to both realms.
Thanks Valedhelgwath, I already knew almost everything you said, but something that was new for me is the last part where you say when the conection between Gondor and Arnor ended. By the way I remembered the name of the king that renewed comunication with Gondor, it was Araphant father of Arvedui.
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but something that was new for me is the last part where you say when the connection between Gondor and Arnor ended.
That part is supposition though, Namo. Looking through their histories doesn't really tell you specifically, but logic would suggest links would be maintained while bloodlines were still strongly connected. This sundering of Arnor would weaken any connections with Gondor.
What is the difference between Drúedain, Dunedain and edain?? Can´t seem to remember!
The Druedain is the Sindarin term for the wild men who lived in the Forest of Brethil, and later those living in the Ered Nimrais. Basically the Woses.

The Edain are the Men of the three Houses who first entered Beleriand in the First Age and subsequently took service with the elves living there. The lore and knowledge they gained from the elves made them far more advanced than the other Men who later followed them in the Morgoth's service (the Easterlings).

The Dunedain are the Edain who at the beginning of the Second Age went to live in Numenor, and their descendants. After the sinking of Numenor, the Dunedain survived only in the Faithful (who founded Gondor and Arnor) and the Black Numenorians of Umbar.
Thanks Val that was very well informed.....
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And remember the Shire also sent some Hobbits to that war


This is only alleged - no records of men speak of this. And as I understand, there are just a few hobbit records stating this. Probably as they were granted the shire, so long as they came to arnors aid, they made it up to save their reputation.
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This is only alleged - no records of men speak of this. And as I understand, there are just a few hobbit records stating this. Probably as they were granted the shire, so long as they came to arnors aid, they made it up to save their reputation.

Well
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For it was in the one thousand six hundred and first year of the Third Age that the Fallohide brothers.....having obtained permission from the high king at Fornost [Argeleb II], they crossed the brown river Baranduin with a great following of Hobbits. They passed over the Bridge of Stonebows.....and they took all the land beyond to dwell in, between the river and the Far Downs. All that was demanded of them was that they should keep the Great Bridge in repair, and all other bridges and roads, speed the king's messengers, and acknowledge his lordship. - from the Prologue to FotR.

Though you are right that no records of men recorded their sending some bowmen to aid the king at the last battle at Fornost with the Witch-king of Angmar. This lack of records would have been because the king lost that battle and the war, resulting in the end of Northern Kingdom; and only the victors write the definitive histories. Besides, because of their diminutive size they were probably overlooked in all that hubbub; and they would have hurried home for supper as soon as the sun set behind the Twilight Hills (Hills of Evendim), missing out being entered on the Witch-king's tallies. Teacher Smilie
Also you was talking about the disasters that happened to Arnor.What about Gondor?They were Dunedain there too. Weren't they? I think Personally, Gondor is a whole lot more richer and more powerful and not to mention having more Fame and Glory than Arnor. after the elven kingdoms I like Gondor better. But some disasters such as the Kin-Strife that happened could have been easily avoided. For, if Vindugiva married one of the Dunedain instead of the Northmen it would of simply not of happened. But some couldn't be avoided.
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For, if Vindugiva married one of the Dunedain instead of the Northmen it would of simply not of happened. But some couldn't be avoided.

Happens with women. As they are usually prohibited from fighting themselves (with the exception of upstarts like Éowyn, Boadicea, Hippolyte, Penthesileia and Xena the Warrior princess), they like to conjure up some strife from behind the scenes and take what's left from the spoils. Prime examples here are Helen of Troy, Olive Oil, Xanthippe and Lucrezia Borgia.
Shaking Head Smilie But when I said some couldn't be avoied I meant the great Plague of Gondor around 1635-1640T.A. or something like that. It killed King Telluminatar and his children and also killed quite alot of people, especially in Osgiliath and that on a map of Osgiliath, 20years after the plague you can see the damage. It is on Osgiliath 1660 T.A. Once again my Laptop doesn't wnt me to make a link here Sad Smilie

Grondy fixed the url and made the link.
The only problem in my humble opinion, is that the above map isn't from the Tolkien canon, but is from one of the roll playing games; though I don't know which.
Thanks Grondy, thanks for making a link here I really appreciate it.
One thing about that map puzzles me - it has a 'Sanctuary of Ulmo' in Osgiliath. Never knew they had one.
Doubt is allowed here. AFAIK there is not many clues of which degree the valar were worshipped by the Edain. In Nunenor there was a place dedicated to Illuvatar who is not a Valar btw. Maybe it was Tolkien's intention to have men more oriented to monotheism (just my 2 cents)
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Maybe it was Tolkien's intention to have men more oriented to monotheism

I absolutely agree with that. Tolkien was very religious, a strict Catholic, and I seem to remember the SILM mentioning somewhere (I can't recall exactly where) something along the lines that the Valar were more as guardians/protectors/role models than gods. The Valar were to be respected and revered, but not worshipped.

In the Valaquenta, Tolkien says of the Valar, "and Men have often called them gods." His choice of words implies that "some people may CALL them gods, but they really aren't". Otherwise I think he would simply have come right out and said "The Valar were the gods of Eä."

Later in the Valaquenta, Tolkien describes the Maiar as being "of the same order as the Valar, but of less degree." By using words like "order" and "degree" Tolkien was comparing the Ainur (both Valar and Maiar) to angels in the Catholic faith -- there are 9 orders of angels. Which also would point to them not being gods in and of themselves, but rather being the emissaries of God, i.e. Ilúvatar.
Personally I favour the idear of the Valar being kind of 'Greek gods' but working in harmony. They each have there own speicality of power that brings together a collective unison.
Although in later Ages the Valar were governers you are forgetting that they built the world as it was later perceived. They created the Flowers, Plants, animals and even mountains and oceans. This to me seems to be the work of Gods rather than Angels which are messengers.

The Maiar I think are more like Angels. They are the servents of the Gods and have little to do with the grand making of Arda.

As we can see by the quote you provided Men have often called them Gods. Nowhere else in Tolkien's world are anything else called Gods. Therefore the Valar are the only thing titled as Gods, thus in Ea they are the Gods if you see what I mean.
Just like the Istari are often called Wizards. Now we say that they are not really true wizards but are Maiar. However no other beings are called Wizards in Arda therefore they are the wizards.

What I am trying to say is don't try and compare these things with our own perception of them. If Men call Valar Gods then they are Gods to men. Just becuase the Valar does not meet our 'assessment' of a God is irrelevent. In Tolkien's myth, in the lore of men, a God is one of the Rulers of Ea. To us they would be more similar to Angels but our world and our classifications are irrelevent. Thus also applies with Wizards. To men the Istari are Wizards. Therefore the beings that came over from Valinor to aid them against Sauron and have magical powers are Wizards to men. Just becuase our description of a Wizard is an old men who can turn a hat into a bat it does not warrent trying to apply the same into Arda. It is a complete world unto itself.
You bring up some good points LOA. In the end, I think it all depends on which point of view one takes. From the Elves' POV the Valar are clearly not gods -- the Elves have seen them, talked directly to them, lived among them, etc. But as you and I both pointed out, from the Mens' POV the Valar are seen as gods -- Men have never seen or talked to them, etc. To Men the Valar are but a mystery, an unseen legend out of the West.

I found an essay which I think says it much more eloquently than I can:
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In this we can definitely see a dualism of Tolkien’s Christian upbringing and pagan studies. This is a cosmology very similar to that of the Prophecy of the Seeress in the Elder Edda, which also was a combination of Christian and pagan. In that story, Tolkien saw the Norse religion come alive, and he wanted to capture the same sense in his creation story. But he also wanted his works to be true. In his role as revealer, as opposed to creator, he could not unveil something that was not the truth, and for him the truth was a monotheistic universe. For the elves, who would live with the Valar, the Valar were not gods because they served a higher being; Tolkien related this to Man before the biblical fall, who literally knew God and his angels and the place of them in the universe. But the Men of Middle Earth never come to know the nature of the Valar, and so they treat them as gods in their own right with no mention of Eru. This was post-Fall man, who knew God’s servants better than they knew Him and so worshipped those servants as gods (pagan rites).

(from J.R.R. Tolkien By Brian Compton)

Of course what I REALLY need to do, is find some direct quotes from Tolkien himself about the subject. I'm still looking! Elf Smilie
Sorry, two more things I wanted to mention:

(1) The Valar are not omniscient, omnipotent, nor omnipresent. They are fallible, they can make mistakes, and they definitely do not know everything. In several places Tolkien explicitly says "The Valar do not know" this-or-that (most often involving the mind or the will of Ilúvatar in some matter).

(2) In your post you say that just because Men called the Valar "gods", that makes them so. But when the Númenorians came to Middle-Earth, the lesser men there also called THEM "gods", so does that somehow make the Númenorians into gods?
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And they revered the memory of the tall Sea-kings, and when they had departed they called them gods, hoping for their return.

(from the Akallabêth)
Firstly I agree that nowhere do we here the Elves call Valar Gods. So thats good and covered.

About your first quote: As you have already stated I tend not to except any quote that isn't Tolkien's - I look forward to awaiting your quote from JRR.

As for your analysis. Clearly Gods in Tolkien's myth do not have to have all those qualities to be Gods (at least from Men's perspective). You are applying your assessment of a God and trying to turn it into the Mens of Middle-earth.

Your last point is good. However it is clear that the Men of Middle-earth called the Numenoreans Gods but not in a literal sense. They were the bringer of gifts and wisdom. They called them this in a non-literal way just as an over-exaggerated descrition becuase of there kindness. Also remember that to the men of Middle-earth the Numenoreans had a far closer connetion to the Gods, therefore adding another reason why they might call them so.
We call Celebrities 'Stars' but they certainly aren't. The actual scientific classification of a star could not be at more variance with a celebrity.

Tell me - if you found large bright beings descending from the heavens coming over to your land and started to uprooting mountains and building oceans and trees and animals with seemingly inpossible ways - would you think they were Gods? Or would you go up to one and say 'Are you omnipotent?' and if there answer was 'no' say 'ahh well your no God then'.
Well, first of all, let me say that I had a really good laugh reading your last paragraph! Just picturing that whole scenario, and then "Ha! You're not a god!" Elf With a Big Grin Smilie Yeah I definitely see your point with that one -- if I was on the receiving end of such a god-like visitation, I don't suppose I would be questioning their divinity!

But -- I finally found what I was looking for (sort of). I can't find a direct transcript, but apparently Tolkien addresses the question "Were the Valar gods?" in LETTERS, #154 & #286. So if anyone out there reading this thread has a copy of "Letters" handy, please let us know what Tolkien says in his own words.
Cool Smilie I love Lord of all last paragraph, it was sooooooooo funny !Big Laugh Smilie
You know it would be preety funny to look at but the same strange.But wouldn't the Last Battle come before that.I love the Forum because things go of subject(look at this we went from Arnor to Gondor to Osgiliath to Edain to remaking of Arda) What next? Good Morning Smilie Exploding Head Smilie
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apparently Tolkien addresses the question "Were the Valar gods?" in LETTERS, #154 & #286. So if anyone out there reading this thread has a copy of "Letters" handy, please let us know what Tolkien says in his own words.

In Letter #154 (to Naomi Mitchison 25 September 1954) :
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.....and Valinor the land of the Valar (the Powers, the Lords of the West*).....

*gods, is the nearest equivalent, but not strictly accurate


In Letter #286 (to AE Couchman 27 April 1966)
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There are no 'Gods', properly so called, in the mythological background in my stories. Their place is taken by the persons referred to as the Valar (or Powers): angelic created beings appointedto the Govermnent of the world. The Elves naturally believed in them as they lived with them, But to explain all this would simply hinder my getting on with publishing it in proper form.

The above two letters are from The Letters of JRR Tolkien edited by Humphrey Carpenter with the assistance of Christopher Tolkien.
Thanks Grondy, I really gotta buy a copy of Letters. Smile Smilie

Ok so from what Tolkien says, the Valar are not gods...if one was to define a "god" as "Creator, Prime Mover, omnipotent, omniscient, etc", because that role is clearly Eru Ilúvatar.

Buuuuuuut, he acknowledges that the Valar obviously do FUNCTION as gods, "they are the nearest equivalent" -- which was LOA's point: if it looks like a god, talks like a god, quacks like a god...then you're not really "wrong" to call it a god. (See dude, you swayed me! Wink Smilie )

So I guess it really just boils down to whose perspective you choose. From Tolkien's (and the reader's) perspective, the world is clearly monotheistic (which was Eädollon's original question/statement) -- there is ONE Creator/Prime Mover, he created the universe, and then created the Ainur to help him. And we know this simply because Tolkien says it is so.

But from the perspective of the inhabitants of Middle-Earth, the Valar would absolutely be gods (or at the very least, god-like). Okay the Elves don't CALL them gods...maybe the Valar taught them not to. Or maybe it's because the Elves are immortal, hence a little closer to the nature of the Valar. Or because they actually saw/spoke to/lived with the Valar, thereby making the Valar "knowable". It's probably a combination between all of that. But then you have Men -- with very few exceptions, they never saw or knew the Valar, so to them the Valar are merely a rumor, just as distant as Eru himself. Men would have to accept the Valar AND Eru both on "faith" alone, whereas the Elves needed "faith" to believe in Eru but not in the Valar.

Basically Tolkien was able to give us the best of both worlds... he was able to have the monotheistic "God" he wanted, and still give us the flavor of the "Classical Myths" by having a pantheon of super-powerful beings, "gods" (with small 'g').

How's that, LOA? We BOTH get to be right! Orc Grinning Smilie
Agreed.

We can conclude that there were no 'Gods' in Tolkien's myth in what terms we would classify them. However they are Ea's closest equivilent to our own perception of them and thus Men call them Gods becuase they are the only thing they have that relates to a God.
If the Men of Middle-eath were to hear our view of a God they would probably compare it to the Valar and say "Well your 'God' isn't really a God just something God like"
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Tell me - if you found large bright beings descending from the heavens coming over to your land and started to uprooting mountains and building oceans and trees and animals with seemingly inpossible ways - would you think they were Gods?


I think that in this day and age people would mostly wonder what planet and solar system they came from. At least in the part of the world who's seen the most x-files episodes and movies like independence day. Elf Sticking Tounge Out Smilie

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Basically Tolkien was able to give us the best of both worlds... he was able to have the monotheistic "God" he wanted, and still give us the flavor of the "Classical Myths" by having a pantheon of super-powerful beings, "gods" (with small 'g').

My feelings exactly. Orc Smiling Smilie
Let everyone choose their own gods, for pity's sake.

Look at the Aztecs, for instance... they thought 300 beardy, ugly men from Spain, clad in heavy armour and sitting on war horses were gods.

At least, the ones that didn't try to eat them, did.
I also have to agree with the Valar appearing as gods to the Men of middle-earth, while to the Elves they were more angelic due to their familiarity. To Tuor, Ulmo certainly appeared as a classic god of Greek mythology, after whom Tolkien undoubtedly patterned him/it, or at least Poseidon is what my mind's eye saw at that encounter.

Also as Virumor said, Cortez (and also Francisco Pizarro in Peru) looked like gods because the native arrows just bounced off the newcomers and they had these killing boom-sticks and rode these horrible looking monsters.

Even in Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King, the protagenist was thought by the inhabinents of his new found kingdom to be a god, because he wasn't killed by an arrow. Then after he was bitten and bled; they knew differently and acted upon that newly found knowledge.
Soon in billions of years time the Millky way would collide with another galaxy called the Andromeda.Andromeda is just like our galxy, except larger. This galaxy is approaching us at the speed of 140miles persecond.Pretty fast hey.I wonder are so many stars and Nebulae as well as galaxies are all approching us or receding from us.I wonder why Varda's creations went crazy.This also the same as Barnard's star approching us at 50mph.The Milky way and Andromeda are attracted to eachother , just like two lovers. Making Out Smilie Smile Smilie I Love You Smilie
I'd rather the lovely Cassiopeia, Andromeda's mother, would approach us. After all, Perseus would not take too kindly to his wife running away with our galaxy.

Then again, Cepheus wouldn't either.
Hey there's a really neat animation of it here, and another good article here.
Meanwhile back to our topic: The Edain.....
Smile Smilie I really like your neat animation, Meneldur Elentrimo, It was really flash. Using Miruvor's logic is that the Persus Cluster of galaxies would get jealous and will come after us. But the Milky Way and the Andromeda are going towards the Persus cluster at 300,000miles per second pretty fast isn't it? It is called The Great Attractor .Hereis another link,The Great Wall of Galaxies.Have a look at the two URLs the're pretty cool,huh? Smile Smilie Cool Smilie
The Edain seem so noble and so elf like and so Rohirrim like combined to me. The very best of both worlds put together to make an amazing group of creatures. They are totally fascinating to me.
And Vir, Olive Oil. I have to SO agree with that. I cannot abide that woman. She changes her affections like most change their socks. In one show she started out to marry Popeye then switched to Brutus because Brutus had ruined Popeye's wedding clothes. How Popeye could love that ....well I don't know what to classify her as , I don't know.
She certainly was not of noble stock I should think.
Yes?