Finwëans That Never Were

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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

Finwëans That Never Were

Post#1 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Welcome to our forum ElwëÞindikollo, your essay is very good; however, I also don't feel qualified to discuss it with you having not read the stated volumes of HoMe.

(I find reading lengthy paragraphs on a WebPage, no matter how well written, a chore due to my eyes loosing track of where I was. I find them easier to navigate if they are broken into units of approximately five lines long, even if this is not proper academic practice. Please consider doing this next time. Note: The foregoing isn't official Planet-Tolkien policy, it is only my personal preference.) :elfbiggrin:

Thank you and well done. :happyelf:
'Share and enjoy'

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rednell
Posts: 1798

Finwëans That Never Were

Post#2 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Welcome to PT, ElwëÞindikollo.
Having not read any of the HOME series either, I can't really give any constructive feedback on your essay, however, I did find it very interesting reading.

From what I have read in Tolkien's letters, he had pretty much finished a great deal of the work on The Silmarillion because he wanted to publish that before LOTR. That being said, perhaps CT published The Silmarillion as his father had written it between 1936 and 1953 (having started the concept of the mythology in 1914) and then, after going through all the notes his father left, he later compiled the HOME series. This would explain the changes as Tolkien likely re-wrote these genealogies later, probably after he retired.
From Tolkien's Letters #191 to Miss J Burn 26 july 1956:
I am not writing the Silmarillion, which was long ago written; but trying to find a way and order in which to make the legends and annals publishable.


Maybe CT should have gone through all his father's notes before editng and publishing The Silmarillion but at the time he may not have realized how extensive Tolkien's changes were. I have noticed in Unfinished Tales, for example, that CT makes note of various descrepancies in his father's work and I assume there are similar footnotes/endnotes in all the HOME series.

Anyway, I am very impressed by the detail you have presented in your essay.


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Elfstone
Posts: 1502

Finwëans That Never Were

Post#3 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Welcome to PT ElwëÞindikollo! Nice essay, very interesting, and very well done. I enjoyed reading it, however, as others have said, I don’t really feel qualified to go into an extensive discussion because I have not read any of HOME yet.

For better or worse, I think you will find that the majority of the people here at PT have not read HOME. Most have read The Silmarillion, and UT though. I do plan on reading HOME at some point down the road, and I do have some knowledge of its make-up and content due to having read similar type essays as yours. I always find it fascinating to learn more about the evolution of JRRT’s writings. Again nice job, and I hope you stick around!
:happyelf:
"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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valedhelgwath
Posts: 4233

Finwëans That Never Were

Post#4 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Hi ElwëÞindikollo, and welcome to Planet Tolkien.

I had started ploughing through the HOME series, but work committments forced me to put them on hold for a while. Your post has reminded me that I really must take them off my bookcase shelf again before they gather too much dust.

I look forward to seeing you around here.

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Lasgalen
Posts: 74

Finwëans That Never Were

Post#5 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

I always thought the omission of Finwë's daughters was because Tolkien did not seem to consider women to be very important. The genealogies show sons that did not play any important roles (Angrod and Aegnor come to mind) but does not show any women unless they had some important part to play. I figured that is why the daughters of Finwë were omitted.

As for the twins, I found the story of Fëanor changing the mother-name from Umbarto (fated) to Ambarto (exalted) a very interesting one. Seems like he was 'fated' anyway even with Fëanor altering his mother-name. I wonder why it was left out. Did Christopher not read the notes carefully enough or did he think it would take up too much room. Certainly it couldn't be because Christopher thought one of the twins burning was too tragic. He would have had to alter the whole rest of the book if that was his thinking.

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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

Finwëans That Never Were

Post#6 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

I wonder why it was left out. Did Christopher not read the notes carefully enough or did he think it would take up too much room.
I think it was because there were so many boxes and/or volumes of notes that he hadn't finished reading all of them when he first started to edit The Silmarillion. Thus many changes and additions that his father had in mind to incorporate, were left out because their existance hadn't yet surfaced into Christopher's knowledge.
'Share and enjoy'

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valedhelgwath
Posts: 4233

Finwëans That Never Were

Post#7 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

I think that is the case, Grondy. When you read through HOME and see the notes that he makes, you are able to see where he has pulled the material from. In many cases they are pages from diaries etc, often with many notes penned over the top of the original pencil text. In some cases though, there are bits taken from scraps of paper found folded between sheets of old newspaper etc, in the bottom of old chests and boxes. Much of it appears to have been poorly catalogued, and so the process of piecing it all together and editing must have been very difficult.

JonnieA
Posts: 54

Finwëans That Never Were

Post#8 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

I must admit that my personal point of view is that The Silmarillion hangs together so well that I am not interested in picking apart Tolkien's notes to try to discover what his final intentions would have been had he had infinite time to complete his work.
This implies no disrispect to those of you who do pore through the HOME books - let's all get our enjoyment from Tolkien in whatever way we want. But for me, I don't want to consider alternative geneologies or histories..there is more than enough in The Silmarillion to be going on with, and considering alternatives detracts from the perceived reality of the writings as if they were actual histories.

One other point...I seem to remember (correct me if I'm wrong) that Tolkien refers to some of the minor characters as either being of the 'House' or 'Line' of various royalty. To me, 'Line' suggests actual bloodline descent, 'House' could mean merely that they or their ancestors were in the service of that royalty. Comments...?

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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

Finwëans That Never Were

Post#9 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Welcome JonnieA, I always figured "line of" meant a direct line of ruling descent from the founder, while "house of" meant all the descendents from the founder and thus included many cousins of nth degrees; however, you may be correct that they and their ancestors may only have been employed by or in service of the ruling family.

Except, if one looks at Genealogy Tables I and III at the end of The Silmarillion, one will see they are labeled:
The House of Finwë and the Noldorin descent of Elrond and Elros
and
The House of Bëor and the mortal descent of Elrond and Elros
respectively, so maybe my original thought holds true.
'Share and enjoy'

JonnieA
Posts: 54

Finwëans That Never Were

Post#10 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Thanks Grondmaster. The quotations you give certainly support your original line of thinking (or should that be 'house' of thinking....sorry for the pun).
I suspect you are correct, and that was Tolkien's intention. My own point of view, however, is that almost every minor elven character described in Middle-earth would then be connected to the royal bloodline in some way, even if these connections are not shown in the genealogical tables. No doubt this is because Tolkien had in mind more descendents of Finwe (as ElwëÞindikollo demonstrates) than he put in the tables. My personal take on this is that I prefer to accept the genealogical tables given in The Silmarillion as gospel, and that no-one is missing - as I mentioned in my previous post, trying to consider all of JRR's musings breaks up the story and 'reality' of his creation. Hence I am happy to stick with the idea that, for example, Glorfindel had little or no royal blood, but was considered noble by his family's close connections and service to a royal household.
I am aware that Anglo-Saxon culture put an enormous emphasis on bloodline over almost any other social factor, and this does seem to echo throughout Tolkien's work. For example, imagine if a genuine descendant of the Pharoahs attempted to take power in modern Egypt - that is the sort of timespan Aragorn overcame!

I would be interested to know how many other members share my rejection of all the possible alternatives in favour of a single, coherant 'reality' behind Tolkien's works?

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