Assignment 3

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TomBombadillo
Posts: 2746

Assignment 3

Post#1 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Gonna start reading this week. And since I've already read chapter 7, that should be no problem. :orcgin: I'm actually beginning to enjoy this... :smoke:
Denial is not a river in Africa.

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valedhelgwath
Posts: 4233

Assignment 3

Post#2 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Unlike the early chapters were in depth discussions can be argued over the religious background of the story, these recent chapters have been relatively straight forward. I'll raise the following points for discussion, however.

1) Why were Melkor's lies so effective against the Noldor, and why did he see them more useful to his purposes than the Telori?

2) What sort of creature was Ungoliant? Was she created from the thought of Eru as the Ainur had been, or was she from outside of his thought?

3) Could there be any justification for Feanor refusing Yavanna the light from his Silmaril's to heal the Two Trees?

4) Fingolfin did not wish to leave Valinor with Feanor. Why did he?

5) Two oaths were spoken, one by Feanor and his sons, and the other by Mandos, the Doom of the Noldor. Both of these have great importance throughout the rest of the book, so be sure you understand the meaning of what was spoken, and the potential problems that are likely to occur because of them. If any of you have any problems with these two oaths, please ask for guidance as they are very important.

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Allyssa
Posts: 1657

Assignment 3

Post#3 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

My thoughts on the discussion:

1) Why were Melkor's lies so effective against the Noldor, and why did he see them more useful to his purposes than the Telori?

My feeling is that the Noldor were the weakest of will of the Elves and also the most inclined to rebellion. An easy target for an opportunistic Vala-turned-evil like Melkor. My belief also, is that the Noldor were the intended 'children of Aule', before the Vala had ideas of his own in this department. Having been put out of place slightly by the existance of dwarves, could this have given them the inherent 'weakness', that Melkor found so easy to exploit?


2) What sort of creature was Ungoliant? Was she created from the thought of Eru as the Ainur had been, or was she from outside of his thought?


Could she have been a perversion of some creature by Melkor? Early experiments perhaps? Or a corrupted Maia like the Balrogs?


3) Could there be any justification for Feanor refusing Yavanna the light from his Silmaril's to heal the Two Trees?

None, unless the Silmarils would have been destroyed in the process. This could make Feanor's reluctance understandable, since he crafted them and loved them. But it seems clear to me, that Feanor was already tainted or 'marred' by the words of Melkor.


4 ) Fingolfin did not wish to leave Valinor with Feanor. Why did he?

I thought he did so out of love for his sons Fingon and Turgon, who were eager to see ME, and because he hoped that he could prevent the Noldor from doing anything too 'rash' or foolhardy.

Well, those are my thoughts on the discussion. This is my first contribution to the reading group, so I appologise if it is out of turn. Feel free to delete me if I have not followed the rules. :D :D
"May the Angels Guide"

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valedhelgwath
Posts: 4233

Assignment 3

Post#4 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Well, those are my thoughts on the discussion. This is my first contribution to the reading group, so I appologise if it is out of turn. Feel free to delete me if I have not followed the rules.
Nothing out of turn, Allyssa. It's nice to have you on board with us. :)

Does anyone else have any idea's about these questions before I post my views?

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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

Assignment 3

Post#5 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

3) Could there be any justification for Feanor refusing Yavanna the light from his Silmaril's to heal the Two Trees?

None, unless the Silmarils would have been destroyed in the process. This could make Feanor's reluctance understandable, since he crafted them and loved them. But it seems clear to me, that Feanor was already tainted or 'marred' by the words of Melkor.
I think he was already tainted; however, they all were overly pushing him for an answer, with the exception of Aule who knew how much went into any making. Then Feanor spoke, crying bitterly:
For the less even as for the greater there is some deed that he may accomplish but once only; and in that deed his heart shall rest. It may be that I can unlock my jewels, but never again shall I make their like; and if I must break them, I shall break my heart, and I shall be slain; first of all the Eldar in Aman.'
The trees could only be made once and Feanor said likewise for the Silmarils. Aule would have felt the same way had the Iluvatar required his Dwarves to be unmade. For the light in the Silmarils to rejuvenate the trees, the jewels would have to be unmade. They were just asking too much. That Feanor brooded over this hard request instead of offering them up for the greater good, meant to me that Melkor's lies had already taken root; the stage was now set for the centuries/millennia of heartbreak that were to follow from his denial. :verysad:
'Share and enjoy'

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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

Assignment 3

Post#6 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

2) What sort of creature was Ungoliant? Was she created from the thought of Eru as the Ainur had been, or was she from outside of his thought?
Think she was a creature similar to a lesser Valar who had been bent in the making like Melkor was. When he discovered her, he decided she would make him a good tool, but found later that her lusts were very difficult to control. She was more powerful than a mere Balrog, because it took many to just chase her away, even Melkor wasn't yet strong enough to take her on. It almost seems like she came from outside Eru's thought, which doesn't make sense unless there were others like Eru out there in the void, but I thought we had a monotheistic hierarchy here. :elfconfused:
'Share and enjoy'

Eryan
Posts: 845

Assignment 3

Post#7 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

4) Fingolfin did not wish to leave Valinor with Feanor. Why did he?

At the very beginning of the feud between Feanor and Fingolfin, Feanor accused Fingolfin to try to take over the leadership of the Noldor. For that accusation (accompanied by menaces and drawing forth of his sword) Feanor was punished by the Valar and exiled from Valimar. It was a terrible humiliation for someone so proud. Even Fingolfin was dismayed and he tried to heal that feud by swearing that he will always follow Feanor as his leader. So when Feanor decided to leave Aman, Fingolfin felt that he must remain true to that oath.

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valedhelgwath
Posts: 4233

Assignment 3

Post#8 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Hi Grondy and Eryan. Welcome to our group.

1) Why were Melkor's lies so effective against the Noldor, and why did he see them more useful to his purposes than the Telori?

An interesting point you made there about the Noldor being the intended children of Aule, Allyssa. I had not really looked at it from that angle before, but it could have pushed their noses out of joint a bit. I think Melkor saw they were weak willed, however, because he saw they burned with pride. Pride can be quite a negative emotion, and he was able to use it against them. As for the Telori, I think he just dismissed them because he considered them to be worthless. Their lacking of a thirst for power he mistook as a lack of strength. He did not consider they had anything they could offer him.

2) What sort of creature was Ungoliant? Was she created from the thought of Eru as the Ainur had been, or was she from outside of his thought?
It almost seems like she came from outside Eru's thought, which doesn't make sense unless there were others like Eru out there in the void, but I thought we had a monotheistic hierarchy here.
Until I read Grondy's post I was always of the thought that Ungoliant was a creature from outside of Eru's thought. I thought she was a creature Melkor had first discovered while he had gone into the Void in search of the Flame Imperishable, and there, he had bent her to his will.

So if Ungoliant was like this, and was a creature created outside of Eru's will, then it begs the question, who did create her, and is the Void teeming with other such alien life? My original conception was yes, there were demonic creatures older than the Ainur out there. I'm not so convinced now, however.

The Ainur created the Great Music with Eru, and then some of them entered Ea (the Valar and Maiar). Some of the Ainur did not enter Ea, however, and they remained outside. Ungoliant could have been one of these, who not wishing to stay with Eru either, went alone into the Void. Ungoliant's alien nature was my original reason for believing her to be created outside of Eru's will. Something that was made of unlight seemed too alien, but there again, the Balrogs were spirits of fire and shadow. Is the concept too different?

Having given it a great deal of thought I have come up with a new idea, which you can feel free to rip apart. I think Ungoliant was in some way the antipathis of Varda, in a similar manner to which Melkor is Manwe's. My reasoning behind this is that Varda was concerned primarily with light. She created the stars, filled the lamps of the Valar with light, collected the dew of the Two Trees in her wells, and from them fashioned more stars. In this, Ungoliant was obviously her opposite. She devoured Varda's creations, and in doing so she grew. Also Varda was said to be the most beautiful of the Valar. Ungoliant most certainly wasn't.

What originally gave me this line of thinking, however, was the Silmarils. Varda had blessed them, and it was them that Ungoliant had lusted when she saw them. This alone means little, but continue a few steps in their history. One of the Silmarils, Earendil's, was placed in the sky by Varda as the star Earendil. Another step forward and Samwise Gamgee is fighting Ungoliant's daughter, Shelob. She is driven off blinded by the light from the phial of Galadriel... And where did this light originate from? The star Earendil, hence a Silmaril.

My theory may have a few flaws, so feel free to pick holes in it, but a light-unlight relationship may be similar to our matter-antimatter conditions in science.

I was going to have a crack at the other issues I had raised, but I'm about out of time for now.
nn[Edited on 30/11/2002 by Valedhelgwath]

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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

Assignment 3

Post#9 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Val: I like your Ungoliant/Varda ying/yang idea. It also helps explain the Balrogs and possiblly even the dragons as being rebel Ainur in different forms or aspects.
'Share and enjoy'

orange
Posts: 41

Assignment 3

Post#10 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

I have a question(...). It concerns Feanor standing in front of Valar after the Trees have died. Feanor said that if the Silmarils will be broken, he would die, first of elves in Valinor. And Mandos replies that he would not be the first. At first I thought that Mandos means Feanor's mother(rather weird though), but now I think he could also mean Feanor's father as Mandos is said to know everything, and Feanor's father died about that time. So what does Mandos mean by that? And in what way?

I think Melkor saw they were weak willed, however, because he saw they burned with pride.

I don't understand what is meant by that. I don't think that Noldor can be considered weak willed, quite contrary. But they were more vulnerable by Melkor because of their pride.

Considering Ungoliant - it seems Tolkien suffered from arachophobia (forgive my spelling)

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