Assignment 4

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Assignment 4

Post#1 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Dear-bought those songs shall be accounted, and yet shall be well-bought. For the price could be no other. Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Ea, and evil yet be good to have been.”

Some particularly poignant forms of beauty are related to resistance against Evil, as is told in the song sang by Finrod Felagund in his combat with Sauron:
Then sudden Felagund there swaying
sang in answer a song of staying
Resisting, battling against power,
of secrets kept, strength like a tower,
and trust unbroken, freedom, escape;
of changing and of shifting shape,
of snares eluded, broken traps,
The prison opening, the chain that snaps

(Grondy merely fixed an errant ASCII number)nn[Edited on 12/12/2002 by Grondmaster]

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Assignment 4

Post#2 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

No new assignment yet? :( Anyway, just a quick notice that I'm still reading along with you, and that I have read the 4th assignment, much to my own pride. :cool:
Denial is not a river in Africa.

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Assignment 4

Post#3 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

I didn't know we had a fourth assignment...sorry I'm late. I'm actually at Beren and Luthien but have not read for awhile. Anyhow:
I think that Manwe meant that legends and songs are made only after kingdoms pass away or after heroes die. I think it is said elsewhere that 'only when things are broken forever do they pass into song'. I think the beauty not yet concieved is the beauty of the Elves in their sorrow and the darker, wilder beauty of the many sufferings of the Elves against Melkor.

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Assignment 4

Post#4 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Beautiful is the strenght of their spirits in standing against Morgoth...*snif*
Melkor ... is becoming weaker over time. Why is this?

It probably wasn't just because he put a lot of his power in his creations. I expect him being gnawed constantly by his malice and envy. That probably lessened him. Also Melkor wasn't enjoying his creations as much as before.
And throw in the light of the Sun and those terrible headaches from iron crown. Hard time for him.

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Assignment 4

Post#5 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Melkor ... is becoming weaker over time. Why is this?
Is it possible the light given off from the Silmarils in his Iron Crown also tended to damage Morgoth's mental evil being, burning away a few neurons every decade or so?
'Share and enjoy'

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Assignment 4

Post#6 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Some good replies so far, folks. I am particularly having difficulty decifering the meaning behind Manwe's quote,
Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Ea, and evil yet be good to have been.”
Nice explaination about songs of power from Finrod, Eryan, and Sam's thought about the beauty of the Elves showing sorrow is poignant.
In a way I was reluctant to ask this question because I don't know the answer to it. I think you may be on the right tracks, in which case I would add...
The beauty of massed ranks of elven armies marching to war, resplendant in their armour,
The beauty of the bravery and honour they showed against terrible odds,
The white walls of their defences in such places as Gondolin...
I think it also means the Peredhil too. If the Noldor had not returned to Middle Earth, it is unlikely the half-elves would have been born. They were few in number but they and their kin played significant roles in the later ages.

I found the quote of "evil yet be good to have been." particularly difficult to comprehend at first, but viewing it from this angle, he is saying much beauty was forced into being, purely because it was pressed into being by evil itself.

Melkor ... is becoming weaker over time. Why is this?
A lot of Melkor's evil creations were requirring him to exert his will upon them to keep them motivated or under his control. This would obviously diffuse his own power by spreading it over many creatures. This was seen at the end of RotK with Sauron's creatures after the Ring (and thus Sauron) was destroyed. His armies lost their motivation and just wandered lost.

I think more importantly, here, though was Melkor's battle with Eru. His life and powers were given to him by Eru, but he was using them to corrupt and destroy Eru's creation. Each new crafting outside of Eru's plan was costing him some of his own power.

You are correct about the Silmaril's and the Iron Crown too. The crown weighed heavy upon him, and the Silmarils burned him.

Anyone want a crack at the other questions before we move on?

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Assignment 4

Post#7 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

I'm so far behind!!! :sad:
Since my summer holidays have started, i have been for the most part sundered from Planet-Tolkien as I used to visit almost every day from my PC at college.
Please forgive my lateness as I am eager to catch up and join in the discussions again. So much to do, so little time.
hopefully you shall all hear from me again soon.

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Assignment 4

Post#8 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

I too have taken a holiday from the discussion group. I hope to get back to it next week or the one after, towards answering some of Val's remaining questions.
'Share and enjoy'

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Assignment 4

Post#9 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Val, again, thanks for the invite! I’m on board with the group for the rest of the way, and I’m super excited! As of today, I’m basically right where the group is, and as I’ve stated elsewhere, I have been following what’s been going on with the group. Having read the appendices in ROTK (and some parts more than a few times), I had a pretty good feel for a lot of the basic outline of the Silmarillion. Also, before I started reading the book, I took a look at the first few assignments, and what was being discussed, so that gave me an extra advantage as well. Outside of the correct pronunciation of a few names (as has always been the case), I am having no problems getting through the book. My level of enthusiasm for this book is at a fever pitch, and I look forward to getting involved in the discussion when the next assignment is posted!
"I would have the Ring-bearer bring the crown to me, and let Mithrandir set it upon my head, if he will; for he has been the mover of all that has been accomplished, and this is his victory." Elessar

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Assignment 4

Post#10 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

3) The light of the Two Trees was a creation of Yavanna alone. How was the creation of the Sun and the Moon different to this?

The creation of the Sun and Moon was a combined effort of the Valar, which is possibly why they have been more successful in their safekeeping than the trees: preserved in their vessels by Aule, hallowed by Manwe and set in Ilmen by Varda.

5) Is it any accident that Men first awoke as the Sun first climbed into the sky?

Since Eru knew the thoughts of the Valar from the very beginning, he probably foresaw the creation of the Sun and Moon (It may even have been part of his plan).
Having seen Melkor's evil intention in his music, he also probably knew that men being weaker than elves would not survive in the darkness among Morgoth's evil creatures. Therefore, it is possible that he made Men in such a way that the Sun's light would be the catalyst for their awakening.

These things the Valar did, recalling in their twilight the darkness of the lands of Arda; and they resolved now to illumine Middle-earth and with light to hinder the deeds of Melkor... Manwe knew also that the hour of the coming of Men was drawn nigh.

Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Ea, and evil yet be good to have been.”

Another possible interpretation of this could stem back to Christian beliefs:
Eru, like God, does not cause bad things to happen but he does allow them to happen BUT he also turns every evil deed into something good; by this I mean we learn some important life lesson or gain some kind of character-building experience from it to our advantage which we may not otherwise have learned.
Most of all I agree with what Sam said:
'only when things are broken forever do they pass into song'. I think the beauty not yet concieved is the beauty of the Elves in their sorrow

6) Apart from the obvious physical differences, how are Elves and Men different to each other?

Elves are wiser and sadder as throughout their long lives they have endured all the sorrows of the world. Whereas Men in comparison live for but a short moment, therefore their attitude seems to be more inclined toward living for the moment and their persuits tend to be more selfish.? This one's more of a guess really.

1) What was the relationship between the Sindar and the Dwarves like in the early days after their first meeting? Was this typical of other Elf/Dwarf relationships seen in LotR?

In the early years their relationship was in the spirit of mutual profit and respect rather than friendship and love.
In LotR Elves and Dwarves for the most part hold each other in contempt and their relationship is that of tolerance because they have a common foe. But in the case of Legolas and Gimli we see the makings of a true friendship which is entirely different to any other Elf/Dwarf relationship that I know of.

(Grondy merely tried to fix an errant ASSCI number.)nn[Edited on 31/12/2002 by Grondmaster]

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