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That is my point. There is no point in speculating what Feanor might have done if Melkor wasn't there becuase Fate had already planned the course of his life for him. Thus Mandos knew that Feanor's life would be short and that 'He would come to him soon'.

Actually, I agree with Glorfindel that such problems are worthy of discussion because usually things that are 'fated' can have only one outcome, although many paths can lead to that outcome. Therefore, whatever decrees of "fate" or "doom" that Eru set down in the Music or earlier in his own mind should be able to have been accomplished regardless of how it came about.

For example, Eru probably meant for Feanor to lead the Noldor back to Middle-Earth. Therefore, I think that such a thing would've happened, regardless of how. I mean, it was Morgoth's lies that led to the theft of the Silmarils and the murder of Finwe in the story; but it could have been due to something else, perhaps Feanor's unhappiness at his step-mom and half-brothers. It does say in the Silmarillion that Feanor was not overly happy when his father remarried. And that was BEFORE Melkor spread his malicious lies. The point I'm trying to make is that Eru set down a root of jealousy and arrogance in Feanor, and that root would have come to germinate, bud, and bear bitter fruit in the end regardless of which factor sparked it. And the factors that sparked it could have been many. It could've been Morgoth; it could have been a nastier son of his. It could have been a passing jest. It could have been simply growing self-obssession on his own part... But no matter what it was, it would lead to the same result. Feanor leads Noldor out of paradise and into the real world.

So it is actually quite fun to talk about the other possiblities because it can prove that what actually happened was inevitable. And in the end, of course, you will find out that although there are many ways of a certain Fate working out for one particular character, there is only ONE way that the fates of ALL the characters can work out together. Which is why you can call my last paragraph useless, but I just wanted everyone to see the process of thinking... that's all. It's from the process that we learn and understand, anyways...
Considering Tolkien's faith, which he wove into everything he wrote, in the Universe he created only the End is fated - the ultimate destruction of all things evil, Dagor Dagorath, similar to the Apocalyps as described in the Book of Revelation.

Everything in between, are mere ripples, stirrings of good & evil compared to the End.
Considering Tolkien's faith, which he wove into everything he wrote

"There is no 'allegory', moral, political, or contemporary in the work at all." Letter 181

"There is no 'symbolism' or conscious allegory in my story." Letter 203

There are many other quotes stating that Tolkien's mind doesn't work Allegorically. At best you can say he used certain idears out of religion and interwove them into his work. Saying he used religion in everything he wrote is inaccurate by a long stretch.

"I have deliberately written a tale, which is built on or out of certain 'religious' ideas, but is not an allegory of them (or anything else), and does not mention them overtly, still less preach them, I will not now depart from that mode, and venture on theological disquisition for which I am not fitted." Letter 211

There are many things fated in Tolkien's myth not just the End. And there is only one being who has the Power to exercise fate.
There's a quote in The Silmarillion pertinent to the question as to whether the Elves could have defeated Morgoth. In fact, the whole thing probably could have been avoided:
"Some have held that whether he had said yea or nay (to Yavanna's request for the Silmarils to revive the Trees) then maybe his later deeds would have been other than they were." (or something to that effect.) In other words, if Feanor had relinquished ownership of the Silmarils so that the Trees could be revived, when Melkor stole the Jewels the Valar would have wasted no time in chasing him down and wresting the SIlmarils back from them. In fact, they probably would have allowed the Noldor to lead the attack and avenge the murder of Finwe their King.
But then, the history of the later Ages would have been VASTLY different.
L’thien did defeat Morgoth when she dulled his senses with her entrancing, sensual dance, filling his mind with what is described as the most devious plan he had ever concocted, but a plan that turned on himself and sent him plummeting to the floor overcome by beguilment.

One can only wonder upon the details of this plan. Undoubtedly L’thien played a major part in it; perhaps he had envisioned to corrupt the fairest of all Children of Il’vatar and replace his chief lieutenant, Sauron, with her, for indeed she was half-Maia and had after all already defeated his apprentice and proven her mettle.

But fortunately for the fate of Arda this plan did not work out! For indeed, with L’thien at his side Morgoth's victory would've been inevitable and utterly, without even the combined might of the Valar to stop him; for L’thien was driven by a fate stronger than the will of the Valar, just as the fate of Beren.

In the end, even, when Morgoth would ascend the Throne of his brother Manw’ in the Halls of Oioloss’, would that pale Enchantress be content to keep standing by her Master? Would she accept Varda's throne by Morgoth's side and be willing to share all Power in Arda?

I think the answer is obvious.
What is all this mysoginy??
"Some have held that whether he had said yea or nay (to Yavanna's request for the Silmarils to revive the Trees) then maybe his later deeds would have been other than they were."

You're right Imladmorgul. This is found in Of the Flight of the Noldor. The extract is a narrative:

... ,yet had he said yea at the first, before the tidings cam from formenos, it may be that his after deeds would have been other than they were.

Personally i think that this hints that if Feanor had agreed to submit the Silmarils to Yavanna, then the Valar themselves would have assaulted Morgoth to recover the Silmarils.

I also think that no children of Eru would have been able to overthrow Morgoth unless that was his fate, as manwe also decreed:

Then thou hast sworn in vain, for none of the Valar canst thou overcast now or ever within the halls of Ea, not though Eru whom thou namest had made thee thrice greater than thu art.
What is all this mysoginy??

Misogyny? You misunderstand. It was nigh impossible to look upon L’thien and not love her - much to the detriment of heroes like Beren, Daeron and Celegorm.

Indeed, envy of L’thien's beauty must have driven the Lady Galadriel on her dark path, culminating in her desire to take up the One Ring and become Dark Queen; her prime desire was not to rule Middle-earth, but to be known again as the fairest of Children of Il’vatar, like during the Years of the Trees in Valinor when myriads of foppish (read: Vanyarin) suitors had been vying for her attentions (most likely by means of poetry and fencing competitons), but this reverance to her scrawny figure came to a screeching halt with the birth of blessed Tin’viel.

Indeed, Galadriel wanted to erase all memory of L’thien by using the Ring's profane enchantments to enhance her own beauty and became as fair as Varda herself; and, if this was not possible, use a more direct approach by eradicating all Elven life from the face of Endor, and rule the remainder of Naugrim and Atani, whose weak minds and short memory spans would practically ensure her desires to be fulfilled for ever.
You cannot defeat Morgoth by sticking a blade through him. If you could then Luthien would have done it. More to the point the Valar would have done it. Instead they cast him through the Door of Night. If you could utterly vanquish him by such basic other methods they would have done it.

My guess is the Valar did do something like this; it seems so according to JRRT in Morgoth's Ring at least (italics are as printed in the book):

'He was judged, and eventually taken out of the Blessed Realm and executed: that is killed like one of the Incarnates (...) We read that he was then thrust out into the Void.'

JRRT text VII, Notes on motives in the Silmarillion

Fingolfin challenged Morgoth out of wrath and anger of what he saw was the destruction of his House. In truth there was no way he could have won the battle. Even if he disarmed Morgoth from his Great Mace and had a chance to thrust Ringil through his chest It wouldn't have defeated him.

The Quenta Silmarillion relates that (it was said that) Melkor was unwilling to take up this challenge, and that he knew fear, and that he could not deny the challenge before the face of his captains. He came forth in black armour, and gave a cry of anguish at each wounding, and the wound to his foot troubled him since that day.

In text VII Tolkien notes: '[Morgoth's staying 'at home' has, as described above, quite a different reason: his fear of being killed or even hurt (the literary motive is not present, for since he is pitted against the Elder King, the issue of any one of his enterprises is always in doubt).]'

JRRT, Morgoth's Ring
They must have locked Nienna in a closet prior to lobbing off Old Grumpy's head.

I also wonder whether this head ended up as a prize on the wall in the Halls of Oioloss’. I guess there's a bigger chance that it ended up on a pike in the middle of the Circle of Mahanaxar, instead.
In his above bit about the Witch-queen Galadriel, Virumor forgot to mention: her mirror in which she spied upon her beautiful rivals; how she charmed Dwarves (Gimli included) in order to keep them from allying to her youngest rival; and she kept a vial of poison near the stock of apples she used to bake her yummy apple pies. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie

No there is no way they were defeating Melkor alone. When Feanor died he knew that his people would not overcome Melkor but he told his sons to stay true to their oath and cursed Melkor. Melkor was the greatest being in Arda. Before he was diminished none of the Valar could stand against him. However, as time goes on, after each time gets toppled note who it is who brings him down, the Valar, Tulkas, then a Maia.

It isn't really that Melkor got weaker everytime he fell, but more of what he did. After every lost, he used parts of his power into making his creations. When he made the balrogs and dragons, he got weaker because a part of him was given to them. The valar were the same. After they shaped the world, they too were weaken. A part of them left them and went into the world. They sacrificed a part of them becoming weaker, but at the same time overall more powerful. Melkor with his army is overall more powerful than him alone. The valar with their creations are more powerful than them alone. Sauron got weaker after making the One Ring, without it he is weaker than before he made it. But putting on the ring made him more powerful than before.

My point was not that he got weaker every time he lost and was imprisoned. Otherwise he'd still be just as strong before the defeat. My point was due to his continued expending of himself in his work he was able to be brought back in chains by lesser and lesser beings where before when his powers were contained in him solely the Valar could not overcome him.

I'm not sure that Melkor made the Balrogs. They were fire spirits like the one who rode the Sun, Arien. Sauron put a great amount of his power into the Ring but even if he were not wearing it he was still in rapport with the power of the Ring and not diminished. From Letter #131:

"he had been obliged to let a great part of his own inherent power pass into the One Ring. While he wore it, his power on earth was actually enhanced. But even if he did not wear it, that power existed and was in 'rapport' with himself: he was NOT 'diminished'.

Morgoth did not make the later versions of balrogs, although perhaps in he 1920s when they came by the thousands he did. The Balrogs were ainur. While Morgoth could not be killed, he could probably have been defeated in battle. He felt fear and pain, and he was afraid of dying, although I doubt more than disembodiment would have happened even if he was stuck in the heart. However, if Beren had had a big elven sword with him he could have cut of his head, and that would certainly have ended his corporal self, but his spirit would certainly live on. The effect this would have on history, however would be profound. Imagine if his servants, who hated and feared him, figured out that beheading him would stop him for a bit. Even if they did not mutiny their morale would surely be affected, and tales of his defeat could have stirred the elves to unite as one.
Yes, Melkor spirit couldn't be killed, but his "physical" body could be "kill." We must remember that Wormtongue, a mere Man, was able to "kill" Sauruman, an aniur.

In the end, "what ifs" are utterly pointless. There is no way of knowing what what have happened had something different been done. It's all conjecture not fact.

A maia is an aniur.

Only those who have desecrated their bodies can be really killed, and then only after morgoth releases them from the Doors of the Night. Then Saruman was not killed ,only bodily, and if anyone has enough Tolkien Knowledge, then they know this, for it is fitting to say that Morgoth could not be killed by Turin, for only can a Ainu in reality, not just bodily be killed by another Ainu. So Therefore Manwe himslef or Eonwe, Tulkas or Orome could really have the power to kill him in spirit and forever, even if Turin stabbed him in his reeking heart, and even then he would not die, for the power of him is in the atan, and that is lesser to, or much lesser to the power of  the Ainur.

He can't die, but his incarnate form can be destroyed, and that would yeild...interesting results.

In the chapter about Dagor-nuin-Giliath it is said that just before he died Feanor had a look at the Thangorodrim and realized that Morgoth cannot be defeated.

Yes, and I believe this is one of the real evils of Fëanor's pride.  As he does not nullify the horrible Oath, and mentions nothing of his premonition to his Sons.  The Eldar and the Edain in the First Age are frequently shown to have the ability to perceive their Doom, not unlike the wyrd of the Anglo-Saxons and Norse-men.  Not heeding these omens generally bring great disaster, and Fëanor's muted recognition is probably the greatest example of this.

I think that Feanor realized that the elves were not going to win, but that doesn't necessarily mean they couldn't win. However, I consider what the elves did as winning a Pyretic victory. They ended up getting (with the help of men who they got on their side solely by their own merits) word to the Vanyar, who destroyed Morgoth's armies, and they managed to convince the Valar to capture Morgoth himself. However, though they defeated the majority of his servants and got him captured, most of the elves also died, meaning it wasn't't a very clear victory.

Egalmoth, I agree with the omen part. Even the Valar made that mistake. They didn't heed the warning and allowed the elves to go to the undying land.

Manwe was like:" i have had enough of these puffed up Noldo! Mandos, curse them! " then they kill the Teleri. "Well, Feanor, have fun."

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