Cure blindness

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Cure blindness

Postby avanaka » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:11 pm

Do you think that Elrond could cure blindness?"
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Re: Cure blindness

Postby Valandil_Eluchi » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:58 pm

Greetings avanaka, and welcome to TORC, in particular the books forum. I hope you enjoy it here and have fun.

Firstly I'm intrigued as to why you've asked such a question, it seems a bit of an unusual thing to ask, and is certainly a different first post!

There is no particular incidence that I know of of Elrond curing blindness. However, we know that he is a skilled healer from his dealings with Frodo after his run-in with a certain Morgul blade on Weathertop. We know that he is a holder of one of the Three - Vilya, and that the rings were used for preservation and healing.

I would suggest that if someone were born blind, he would not be able to fix this. However, if they were blinded for some other reason such as infection or wounding, or just generally through old age (though I'm sure that the sight of elves does not deteriorate with old age), then he may be able to heal this unless there was any permanent damage to the eye. In the same way I would not expect that he would be able to regrow somebodies fingers or arm in the event that they were chopped off.

What were your thoughts on the matter? And is there a story behind the question?
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Re: Cure blindness

Postby ngaur » Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:54 am

if they were blinded for some other reason such as infection or wounding, or just generally through old age (though I'm sure that the sight of elves does not deteriorate with old age), then he may be able to heal this unless there was any permanent damage to the eye.


Elrond would not have been able to cure sight impediments gained from old age.

Nor I suspect blindness. At least not if this had physical causes.
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Re: Cure blindness

Postby Valandil_Eluchi » Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:52 am

ngaur wrote:
if they were blinded for some other reason such as infection or wounding, or just generally through old age (though I'm sure that the sight of elves does not deteriorate with old age), then he may be able to heal this unless there was any permanent damage to the eye.


Elrond would not have been able to cure sight impediments gained from old age.

Nor I suspect blindness. At least not if this had physical causes.


What's your reasoning? Just curious :)
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Re: Cure blindness

Postby ngaur » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:45 am

Valandil_Eluchi wrote:What's your reasoning? Just curious :)


Well, I'm afraid you must continue to be.* My reasoning is such that if it cannot be guessed then I am certainly unable to drive it home. On the other hand there may well be devices in Middle-Earth that greatly enhances sight. Such as the Palantiri or the Mirror of G. Or even then ring. Possibly Elrond might very well have been capable of manufacturing a pair of spectacles, though if so I rather suspect he would have delegated such tasks to his artificers. In any case, elves wouldn't need them most likely, and men as far as I know are never mentioned to use them, though they might.

* Unless of course you have sufficient reasoning to believe that he could.
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Re: Cure blindness

Postby Valandil_Eluchi » Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:50 pm

No, it's just you made the statement -
ngaur wrote:Elrond would not have been able to cure sight impediments gained from old age.

So I thought you may have more information to make it definite. I don't see any reason why Elrond would not be able to heal such problems (if he were to choose to). If he can bring Frodo back from certain death, he certainly might be able to preserve sight. It's surely not a definite no! We'll never know either way, it's purely speculation though.
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Re: Cure blindness

Postby wilko185 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:02 pm

Valandil_Eluchi wrote:If he can bring Frodo back from certain death, he certainly might be able to preserve sight.

This is all speculative, as you say, and there does not seem to be a definitive answer to the original question. Ok, so that said :) ... I think there is a key difference between "restoring" and "preserving". Elrond preserved Frodo's life, but he did not actually bring him back from the dead; which would (I think) have been beyond his powers. Likewise, if we say that a healer such as Elrond could "preserve sight", that is not quite the same as "restoring" it.

There is a theme in Lotr that the powers of Good are fighting a long defeat, to try and preserve what once existed, and which may never come again. This is exemplified in the power of the Three Rings, which Tolkien says (in Letters #144) "were precisely endowed with the power of preservation, not of birth".

Meanwhile, the forces of darkness are seemingly able to reproduce their forces almost at will. They are not creating anything actually new, so can churn out new copies with no special effort. Bringing this back to blindness, when Sam stabs Shelob's eyes, the Lotr narrator speculates that she might regenerate (like some malign bisected starfish :D ):
whether she lay long in her lair, nursing her malice and her misery, and in slow years of darkness healed herself from within, rebuilding her clustered eyes, until with hunger like death she spun once more her dreadful snares in the glens of the Mountains of Shadow, this tale does not tell.
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Re: Cure blindness

Postby ngaur » Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:49 pm

There is also the question of Illuvatars gift to men. They will with age pass away from the world, and if Morgoths taint has made this a process of physical decaying, still I do not think that Elrond could have reversed it, even less that he would have tried to.

Besides that I do not see any technology in Middle-Earth advanced enough to physically alter the eye without doing more harm than good. It seems to me that there are no options available for Elrond to achieve anything like that. So I maintain that Elrond could not have cured short-sightedness caused by physical harm or aging.

He might perhaps be able to revert blindness caused by external reasons, such as influence from the ring or other kinds of evil magic, morgul-daggers etc. Or rather we know that he can since he did this for Frodo, but that was not how I took you meaning of cure blindness.
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