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]