Evil in Middle Earth 101

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Grep
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Evil in Middle Earth 101

Post#1 » Sun Feb 26, 2006 4:42 am

The discussion here (http://www.planet-tolkien.com/board/cat/3/thread/3141/0#bottom) is producing some interesting thoughts on the nature of evil, but i thought it might be interesting to ask the question "what/who is the source of evil in middle earth" in this one, as i don't fully understand some of the references in the "dark queen" galadriel thread.

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Vee
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Evil in Middle Earth 101

Post#2 » Sun Feb 26, 2006 9:24 am

Morgoth?

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virumor
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Evil in Middle Earth 101

Post#3 » Sun Feb 26, 2006 9:38 am

No, Melkor. It began when Melkor entered thoughts of his own in the Music of the Ainur.

As for evil in Middle-earth, that was part of Melkor's essence dissipating from Utumno, turning beasts into monsters, making plants rot, etc. It mingled with the essence of Arda itself, entered the hearts of the Children of Ilúvatar and could not be undone, safe by breaking Arda itself.
Give up the Halfring, she-elf...

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Vee
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Evil in Middle Earth 101

Post#4 » Sun Feb 26, 2006 10:24 am

Morgoth/Melkor - same difference.

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Evil in Middle Earth 101

Post#5 » Sun Feb 26, 2006 2:05 pm

No, Melkor. It began when Melkor entered thoughts of his own in the Music of the Ainur.


So evil, like most of middle earth was sung into existance?

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gandalf-olorin
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Evil in Middle Earth 101

Post#6 » Sun Feb 26, 2006 3:02 pm

Don't we have a thread on Melkor/Morgoth and evil already?

elanorraine
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Evil in Middle Earth 101

Post#7 » Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:00 am

But what if -- (thought experiment) -- what if Melkor had not started it all?

Would someone else have started it?

Would one of those who joined Melkor wholeheartedly have come up with the idea, given a bit more time?

Morambar
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Evil in Middle Earth 101

Post#8 » Sun Mar 05, 2006 5:29 am

I'll say no. The strong impression I have of the Ainulindale is that Melkors dark thoughts were largely the product of his time in the Void, that while he was in the presence of Eru he was, not dominated, but influenced by his maker, and preserved from the kind of active evil we see in him on his return from the Void. In the Void he encounters Not-Eru, the absence of that wholesome positive presence preserving him from predation by baser urges. If Eru is defined as positive and good then, by definition to encounter his absence is to encounter the negative and evil, and it is then Morgoth becomes infected. It was not a destructive urge that sent him questing for the Flame Imperishable, after all. So, if the question is could some other of the Ainur, or even one of the Maiar, have made the same trip and fallen into the same trap, sure, though in the latter case it would have been a miserable rebellion, confronting the combined power of Eru and the Valar in the Ainulindale then the Valar in Ea, a combined might that would include Manwe AND Melkor in concert. If, however, the question is could one of Eas inhabitants have fallen after the Ainur entered into it and began to shape it, no, I don't think so; I don't think it possible for the Maiar and extremely unlikely for the Valar because it requires a trip to the Void of which I don't think the former still capable or to which the latter remain susceptible.

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gandalf-olorin
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Evil in Middle Earth 101

Post#9 » Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:45 pm

My reading of this part of The Silmarillion was slightly different. I understood Tolkien to be saying that Melkor brooded on his evil ideas by spending time in the Void, away from Eru and the other Ainur. I did not understand that Melkor had "picked up" the ideas in the Void. The Void is, after all, void. It is not a substance, but the absence of all substance. Melkor did not find anything in the Void except the opportunity to give in to his major fault: pride. Once he had decided just how to mar the designs of Eru, further visits to the Void became unnecessary. You will note that he did not visit the Void once he entered Ea, but commenced at once to bring about the plans he had laid. Morgoth's ultimate punishment is being thrust permanently into this Void, and thus cut off forever from all that is.

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virumor
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Evil in Middle Earth 101

Post#10 » Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:56 pm

I understood Tolkien to be saying that Melkor brooded on his evil ideas by spending time in the Void, away from Eru and the other Ainur. I did not understand that Melkor had "picked up" the ideas in the Void.

That is indeed the case, for it is written in the Ainulindalë:
He had gone often alone into the void places seeking the Imperishable Flame; for desire grew hot within him to bring into Being things of his own, and it seemed to him that Ilúvatar took no thought for the Void, and he was impatient of its emptiness. Yet he found not the Fire, for it is with Ilúvatar. But being alone he had begun to conceive thoughts of his own unlike those of his brethren.
Give up the Halfring, she-elf...

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