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Thread: Was Eol really such a bad guy?

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Bottom of Page    Message Board > Characters > Was Eol really such a bad guy?   << [1] [2]

I would like to see all who long for more of Eol to push back their shirt sleeves and get to work and get it posted after it being reviewed. That would be great fun to read what is in all your hearts and minds.

All this about Eol not being that bad seems a little strange to me.  One person posts that he's not that bad and then says he's only strong-willed and willing to do whatever to get what he wants.  Is that not an essential description of malice and evil?  The willingness to sacrifice anything for what oneself wants?

And isn't the opposite description - the willingness to sacrifice oneself for others - the very description of nobility and virtue?

And then there's all this about him being off by himself.  Well, desiring privacy is not a bad thing, everyone seems to be saying.  But in Tolkien's world, the desire to go be by yourself is very often a symptom of something not being right, if not the cause of it.  It's following in Melkor's footsteps: remember the Ainulindale.  Melkor went off by himself ....


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-Amarië, Planet Tolkien Council Member

Elanorraine, I have to absolutely agree with you. Evil is evil, and when you harm others to lift up yourself or your ideas, you are evil, period.  Saying this fellow is not so bad is as appalling to me as saying Gollum was not all that bad, the creep stole babies from their cradles, shiver. Once he began doing things like that , all my sympathy was gone.

Gollum had been driven insane by the Ring. The true evil in that case could said to be Sauron, in a way, since a large part of his power and malice went into the Ring. I still think that Gollum is a very pitiable character, since he is more a victim of circumstance than of his own deeds. 

That could also be said of Eol. The twilight world which he had lived in had gone, the Noldor were already prejudiced against his kind, and had forced him into a tiny corner of the world - and now they ask him to make a masterfully crafted sword, which he was expected to freely give to Thingol! I'm not sure about you, but I'd be fairy resentful and perhaps even angry about the whole thing.

Eol is the most interesting character in the silmrln he is very deep. I think there is much more Tolkien envisioned about this guy than has been written.  Look he lived in nan elmoth where the trees grow the tallest, is very tall for an elf (ents, ent ales) he may have been a friend of the ents. he was great friends with the dwarves for many years. (it is said hobbits are a mixture of dwarves and elves.) Eol could be the father of the hobbits. his smithcraft was greater than even the vanyar in aman. but he did not seek power, or a (corruption of art to power). his sword fell glaurung  lamented the  loss of his master belig and the wrongful death of that crippled elf in children of hurin I cant remember his name. the Noldor were the most corrupt elves. seeking power , dominion, machines, and war. he also tried to kill meaglin (anti christ figure) to save him from this corruption. he got screwed. oh yeah, and if he had his sword, he would have kicked curufins ass. Curufin didn't slay him even tho he wanted to? as is the law? he didn't mind killing the teleri, and burning their ships to the bottom of the sea. or trying to retrieve the last silmaril no matter the cost. Please, he was scared.

Welcome to PT, Anguriel! Have fun and enjoy yourself!

I see you are fascinated of Eol and I do share some sympathy of him. Yet he sought to keep his wife away of her people against her will, not to mention the fact that he ensnared her when she was lost and took advantage of that. I agree he had grounds not to trust the Noldor, even hate them. At the end it all comes to priorities. Facing an Enemy, who's seeking to torture and twist all living, is grounds enough to let personal hate (and vengeance) aside for a time being.

Have you thought why did he left his homeland? Was it all because of the Noldor kin-slaying? Or was it because he did not liked the fact of sharing power, no longer being Lord of the Land? He did not had the right to decide the faith of his son, and maybe because of how things turned out did Maeglin became the one he turned to be in latter days. Please mind this as a speculation, so you can leave it or give it a thought.

p.s.:Can you please state where is it stated that hobbits are mixture of elves and dwarves? I cannot recall that.

I cant remember  where I read Hobbits are descended from elves and dwarves, but I will look for it. I admit that connection is a reach. If you look at Eols wife Aerdhel? sp, she was restless in gondolin and later with Eol. she was not happy anywhere. If you were married with a son and you come home to your wife and child gone. would you not look for them? not to mention your property? she told meaglin that he would be a prince there. is this not a quest for power?  He didn't  want his knowledge that had passed from him to his son to be corrupted and used by the noldor. which they saw and coveted. If they had let him go with his son he would not be able to find his way back because of the girdle of melian. so the noldor wanted  dominion over Eol and his property which they had no right other than the fact they were stronger. Eol was an elf of principle to a fault. He would not accept their  terms, cage, or  quest. he was willing to die for his beliefs. and during a time of kings, serfs, lords and slaves, it was his right to take his boy. I think Tolkien wanted us to see thru the beauty and power of the noldor and see what they really were. corrupted by idol worship. as he was a Christian. why else would the only line of the noldor left be galadrial daughter of Finarfin the only son of Feanor to not take the oath and leave valinor. 

Off Topic:

why else would the only line of the noldor left be galadrial daughter of Finarfin the only son of Feanor to not take the oath and leave valinor. (originally posted by Anguirel)

If you refer to Galadriel (Alatariel) it is said that she despised Feanor. Nevertheless:

"Galadriel was 'unstained': she had committed no evil deeds. She was an enemy of Fëanor. She did not reach Middle-earth with the other Noldor, but independently. Her reasons for desiring to go to Middle-earth were legitimate, and she would have been permitted to depart, but for the misfortune that before she set out the revolt of Fëanor broke out, and she became involved in the desperate measures of Manwe, and the ban on all emigration..." (Letters of JRRTolkien, 353 From a letter to Lord Halsbury 4 August 1973)

Anyway she took a journey despite the Ban of the Valar and came to Middle Earth (Beleriand), bringing news for the returning Noldor, but not mentioning the Kin-slaying. And you are right to think of the Noldor as to infringers. But I would not be the one to judge them here. I agree that Noldor were held "guilty" ever since the Kin-slaying. But I am not sure she was "spared" because of that, more the other thing around- she did not engaged "doomed fight" and therefore survived.

"The fall of the Elves comes about through the possessive attitude of Feanor and his seven sons to these gems. They are captured by the Enemy, set in his Iron Crown, and guarded in his impenetrable stronghold . The sons of Feanor take a terrible and blasphemous oath of enmity and vengeance against all or any, even of the gods, who  dares to claim any part or right in the Silmarilli. They pervert the greater pan of their kindred, who rebel against the gods, and depart from paradise, and go to make hopeless war upon the Enemy. The first fruit of their fall is war in Paradise, the slaying of Elves by Elves, and this and their evil oath dogs all their later heroism, generating treacheries and undoing all victories..." (Letters of JRRTolkien, 131 To Milton Waldman)

And yet again I cannot say all of the Noldor are to be thought as bad by inheritance.

On Topic: Maeglin was not forced to follow his mother. He made his choice and (even a bad one as it may be) Eol had no right to force him otherwise and specially no right to kill him, as he attempted to do. Kiling your own kin in the name of something you believe... does it ring a familiar bell?

I realize that a Galadriel not involved in the Rebellion (yet involved in the Kinslaying!) is from something JRRT wrote (appearing in a late adumbrated text and seemingly still present in a similarly late letter)... well obviously as Ammornil quoted the letter.

But Tolkien published that Galadriel was a leader of the Rebellion rather, and was banned specifically for this role.

well researched and stated Ammornil. but I think if you boil the story down I think Tolkien represented the simarilli as idols and the noldor (feanor and his allies) as idol worshipers.

I have quoted the letter with the statement for Galadriel exactly for that reason: there are many different versions of the Legendarium and we cannot put one above the other. I accept also Galin's statement: of Galadries is leader of the Rebalion. Which contradicts with the idea of her, serviving the FA because she was not part of the Kin-slaying. (My copy of Sillmarillion is from 2007 and there Galadriel was "kindled" by Feanor's words of ME).

I cannot recall J.R.R. Tolkien to have had expressed opinion on such relation between Noldor and Silmarills, as worshipers towards idol. Yet I have not read all the sources published and even then I wouldn't be able to remember them all at once. I'll be thankful if you (Anguriel) point the source of this statement.

However the original topic was whether Eol was so bad after all and my opinion on this is: he failed to escape the corruption of his time and got pretty badly involved with kin-slaying himself.


please note some parts of this statement may be misunderstanding or personal speculation. for making your own opinion look for the published text in the books (A.H.)

Yet another wonderful thread. Eol is a complicated soul. I don't see him as Evil, perhaps very bad tempered and jealous, almost more Dwarf like than Elf, but not evil. Being visited by the damned Doom of the Noldor I think his high doom was set for him as soon as he met fair Arethel. Re him killing his wife, the intended victim of his poisoned javelin was his son, not his wife. He was delivering on a promise he had just made to his family, witnessd by the King. That he would take back what was his or destroy it. It was Arethel who jumped in front of the dart. Maeglin's staring silence would not have helped. Should Eol have killed his Son as he intended, Turgon in turn would have put him to death, therefore buying some more time for glorious Gondolin. But this ultimately would not have saved the fair City. Nothing could.

Good points. i though think him evil, period. Whatever the reasons he killed and whatever doom is upon someone, that someone can at least fight against it with all their heart and then after that it is in the hands of Illuvatar alone. But anything else is simply revealing the evil that lurks inside that person and is coming to the surface and displaying itself.

Looking back on this I think Eol's tale has a lot to teach us. He could, and probably should have ended up like Thranduil or perhaps one of the other kin of the Teleri left behind, Celeborn or Cirdan are other possibly of a similar age and class. He shunned and blamed the returned Noldor for causing or stirring up trouble with Morgoth. This is understandable given that he didnt have all the facts. He could have ended up great and powerful, as all Elves can. Even the Dark Elves. I more blame the Princes of the Noldor for provoking him into hiding and becoming rather Jealous and angry. Perhaps he longed for the Sunless days of ancient Cuivienen.
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