Did Gil-Galad ever take a wife?

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Postby Tar-Elenion » Mon May 07, 2007 5:20 pm

<various snippages throughout>
dna wrote:
Tar-Elenion wrote:So what? My history is not about Fingon.


Excuse me? It’s very much about Gil-galad and his questionable parentage. Any of his potential fathers (2 especially) having no children, is a rather important part of the equation - called extrapolation.

No, it is not important. It is of no consequence, to the parentage of Gil-galad who in the Shibboleth is a Finarfinian.


Tar-Elenion wrote:Except, no, it is not 'mostly wrong'. It is correct. I quoted what was written in the Etymologies "under *taro " above:
"*taro king: only used of the legitimate kings of the whole tribes, as
Ingwe of the Lindar, Finwe of the Noldor ( and later Fingolfin and Fingon of all the exiled Gnomes) . The word used of a lord or king of a specified region was aran (ar), Q haran [see 3AR]. Thus Fingolfin taur egledhriur 'King of the Exiles' [see LED], but Fingolfin aran Chithlum 'King of Hithlum'."
Taro is used of Fingolfin and Fingon as kings of all the exiles. Not as kings of all the Noldor in exile or not.


Well, your statement that no one ever said the Kings of the Exiles were Kings of ALL the Noldor IS wrong.

No, my statement was, and I quote:
"I don't think anyone including CT has said that Gil-galad (or any of the exilic Kings) was "King of ALL the Noldor" somehow including those who remained behind in Aman." (emphasis added), which is correct. As my quote from The Etymologies shows. The exilic kings were rulers of the Exiles, not the Noldor that remained behind in Aman.
If you are going to say I said something, be fully accurate in it, not selective and misleading.

Here’s the quote, yet again, “For Turgon came of the great house of Fingolfin, and was now by right King of all the Noldor” - Grey Annals, Sil, and CoH! Do you deny this, or are you always right and everything else must be wrong somehow?

Yes, I am always right. As such, when you disagree, you are, perforce, wrong.
:roll:
Put it in context of what it says in the Etymologies about the exilic kings.
Your last 2 sentences are neither 100% correct or 100% wrong. It’s DEBATABLE, depending on close interpretation. The specific nature of the scattered Noldor Kingship cannot be stated in any certain terms because Tolkien never outlined exactly the laws of inheritance, disinheritance, or separation of kingship. If you wish to argue a point, you’ll need to say more than 3 words and “I’m correct”.

No, I wont need to do any such thing. All I need to do is quote JRRT.
Sure, it can be argued by the semantics that the exiled Gnomes, for all intents and purposes, represented a different “whole tribe”, which would make your hypothesis acceptable. The other reading, my interpretation, is that the Exiles did not become a separate tribe, they were separated by geography - *taro kingship referring strictly to one of the 3 tribes, and aran kingship, of a region, distinctly separate.

That would be what you say. What JRRT says is:
"*taro king: only used of the legitimate kings of the whole tribes, as
Ingwe of the Lindar, Finwe of the Noldor (and later Fingolfin and Fingon of all the exiled Gnomes).
*taro used as title by for the kings of all the exiles.
Fingolfin and Fingon ARE clearly listed under *taro kings, and they ARE merely bracketed following the Noldor Kingship, as Exiles. How I interpret it and how you interpret it are different. It is admittedly unclear, thus debatable. Moreso because Finarfin's kingship is never written about, as Olwe's is.

"Thus Fingolfin taur egledhriur 'King of the Exiles'".




The essence of the debate is, would Gil-galad Finarfinian make a more acceptable High-king of the Eldar, than Gil-galad Fingolfinian? It's debatable!

My argument is not about whether Gil-galad would be more acceptable as High King of the Eldar of Middle-earth as a Fingolfinian or a Finarfinian (since it is of no importance to me whose son he should be). My argument is that Gil-galad's Vanyar blood (which he had under either lineage), is of no consequence, since there were no Vanyar in Middle-earth.
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Postby Galin » Tue May 08, 2007 10:20 am

It is also fanfic to state that Maglor's wife was a musician who stayed behind in Valinor. Or that Nerdanel had red hair [Mahtan and Maedhros do; hers is inferred, but not stated].


A very minor side point obviously, but there's a marginal note describing that Nerdanel 'herself had brown hair and a ruddy complexion' (Vinyar Tengwar 41).
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Postby Mithfânion » Wed May 09, 2007 8:59 am

PS Voronwe, what is that Arda Reconstructed that you were talking about earlier?
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Postby MithLuin » Wed May 09, 2007 1:58 pm

Voronwë has gone through HoME and tried to find all the source-passages for CJRT's published Silmarillion. He is trying to get it published, and if he does, the title will be Arda Reconstructed. HERE is where he put the project as he worked on it. If I am not mistaken, he plans to present this at Mythcon this summer.


He can of course tell you more. :)
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Wed May 09, 2007 4:16 pm

Thanks Mith, and Mith. :)

Here is part of the description of the work that I sent in queries to potential publishers:

I have recently completed a 130,000-word manuscript entitled ARDA RECONSTRUCTED: The Creation of the Published Silmarillion, the purpose of which is to comprehensively analyze Christopher Tolkien's work in preparing The Silmarillion for publication. Arda Reconstructed reveals a tapestry woven by Christopher Tolkien from different portions of his father's work that is often quite mind-boggling, with inserts that seemed initially to have been editorial inventions shown to have come from some remote other portion of Tolkien's vast body of work. I demonstrate how material that was written over the course of more than 30 years was merged together. I also make a frank appraisal of the material omitted by Christopher Tolkien (and in a couple of egregious cases the material invented by him) and how these omissions and insertions distort and often diminish his father's vision of what he considered—even more then The Lord of the Rings—to be his most important work. It is a fascinating portrait of a unique collaboration that reached beyond the grave.


I am still waiting to hear back from some potential publishers, with one in particular looking fairly promising. Obviously, I will let people here know if it does get published. As Mith said, I am presenting a paper on the subject at MythCom, and a summary of the work is going to be published in Parma Nole, the Journal of Heren Istarion, the NorthEast Tolkien Society.

We know return to our debate on Gil-Galad's ancestry, already in progress. :P
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Postby MithLuin » Wed May 09, 2007 8:21 pm

J. R. R. Tolkien wrote:I haven't told you all their argument, of course; it was long and complicated, as it often is when both sides are right.
Roverandom


Can't imagine why this thread would bring that quote to mind ;).


To answer the original question of the thread....

If Gil-galad married, he does not seem to have had any children. And if he had any children, they did not inherit either his title or his Rings or his lands. So, no children.

Then the question becomes - how many childless elven couples did JRRT write about? I cannot think of many. Certainly the elves in Valinor seemed to have families with lots of kids. When Fingon's child was removed from the family tree, his wife was struck out as well. Aegnor never married, and Finrod did not marry in Beleriand. Some of the Sons of Fëanor did marry and remain childless - notably Maglor. But it is quite possible that such wives were left behind in Aman, or had enough foresight to know that their husbands would be cursed and bringing children into the world would be a Bad Idea. But other than that family, I can not think of any couples without even a single child. So, it would be reasonable to suppose that Gil-galad did not marry, though it would not be known unless JRRT mentioned it somewhere.

Or to put it another way: if his father Fingon was childless, it is likely that he was too :P
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Postby Mithfânion » Thu May 10, 2007 3:37 am

Voronwe

That is actually something that I myself am very interested in. The whole process has always been twofold to me, looking at the published Silmarillion and then looking at the actual sources of HOME.

1) I am extremely pleased that CT decided to publish a version of the Silmarillion. He did everyone a great service by doing so, and constructing at least one continious narrative which is basically a synopsis of the various Great Tales that JRRT planned. JRRT's style of constant revisions clearly meant that his lifespan was too short too actually publish the Silmarillion as he wanted it.

2) On the other hand there is quite a bit left to be desired about the published Silmarillion, which is nevertheless my favorite book in the world. By and large CT, who has to be considered an utmost authority on JRRT's work, has done an admirable job. But I can't help but think that the Silmarillion should have been a good deal longer, and should have included a couple of things that CT chose to leave out of the Sil. For instance, I think some of the essays now found in Morgoth's Ring and War of the Jewels, as well as for instance the Shibboleth of Feanor, could well have been included as an appendix, and would have been very informative for general readers ( I think also of the Athrabeth here, as well as Laws and Customs, Quendi & Eldar maybe as well). I also wonder at some of the editorial decisions made by CT, which is clearly what your book will be about. When we also get to look at the source material like he did ( through HoME), some of his decisions seem downright odd. Also, I actually think that CT ( and possibly Kay, though I don't think he had much say in this) could have taken a bit more liberties to make the text not just more clearer. There is this extreme obsession, which is conveyed once again with the publishing of the Children of Hurin, of staying true to his father's words at all costs, without even wanting to publish in that narrative that what seems clearly to have been meant/ or could clearly be inferred. There is a sort of extreme academic strictness which on the one hand allowed him to pull off this work, and for which he is to be praised, but on the other hand it limits him, unnecessarily in my opinion, to presenting the best possible version of some of the stories. There is material left out which would have strengthened the pathos and power of the tales because they are not wholly complete enough to his taste.

I'll now be reading the 12 page thread in the Hall of Fire forum ( Should have been done on TORC Voronwe ;) ).
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Postby Mithfânion » Thu May 10, 2007 4:22 am

On the topic of Gil-Galad's parentage.

I've recently been re-reading War of the Jewels and Peoples of Middle-Earth. I feel I should now admit publically that I have had a signficant change of mind on the whole issue of who his father is supposed to be, even though it will do my credibility no good :)

When reading the " parentage of Gil-Galad" in Peoples of Middle-Earth, plus earlier statements in WoTJ, it does seem clear to me now that DNA is in the right here with his statement that GG was supposed to be a Finarfian instead of Fingon's son. I think it was more my obstinate desire to maintain to the published Silmarillion than a fair appraisal of what JRRT himself thought, to maintain that GG was meant to be Fingon's son. Why this turnaround?

    Gil-Galad for a long time seems to have been designed to be Finrod Felagund's son. This is true especially during the time the Lord of the Rings was written. So when Aragorn mentions him in the LOTR, he is talking about GG as the son of Finrod, and sister of Galadriel. After the LoTR however this genealogy is rejected since Finrod is assumed to have left his Vanya wife back in Aman ( Amarie).

    Later concepts have Gil-Galad still as of the House of Finarfin, but as Orodreth's son. Initially Orodreth is still the son of of Finarfin and brother to Finrod, but he later becomes the son of Angrod, Finrod's brother who was slain during the Dagor Bragollach ( IIRC). This concept seems to have remained stable until JRRT passed away.

    There is really only one minor scribble in all the texts that says Fingon was his father. It becomes meaningless when placed against the greater amount of evidence as Gil-Galad being Orodreth's son. CT admits that the idea of Fingon being GG's father was only an ephemiral idea, but also says that it was clearly a mistake to put in it the Silmarillion and that he should have left his parentage obscure in the Sil ( I actually don't agree with that). Furthermore he goes on to say that Gil-Galad as the son of Orodreth was clearly his father's last word on the subject.

    CT then also admits that he changed the " Finellach Gil-Galad of the House of Finarfin in the letter GG writes in " Aldarion and Erendis" to " Gil-Galad, Son of Fingon". This was published in UT and an editiorial decision by CT rather than something JRRT actually wrote. Given that that at so many points CT is incredibly faithful and unwilling to stray even a bit from his father's words, this change strikes me as unnecessarily bold and unfair. It does not present to his readers his father's vision.

    He then goes on to say that also in UT, in the chapter " Description of Numenor" he changed Finellach Gil-Galad to GG son of Fingon, again just to have it match with what he put in the published Silmarillion.

    The body of evidence which puts him as a Finarfian is much greater than the scribble which has him be Fingon's son, and it was for a long time JRRT's final word on the subject. GG as the son of Fingon is an ephemiral idea that he admits now that he should now have done.

    The only thing that I disagree with is that he claims it would be better to have left GG's parentage obscure. I disagree, because that is not in tandem with JRRT's thoughts, who clearly put him as the son of Orodreth. He mentions that JRRT wrote that Finrod Felagund was very fond of Orodreth, who was not just his nephew but also his Steward and standard bearer. GG son of Orodreth then flees to the Mouth of Sirion after the sack of Nargothrond and becomes " King of the Noldor" in Middle-Earth.

    I do not see why this should be left obscure now, having witnessed all the evidence. Galadriel would have a better claim, but she is female and we know of no ruling Elf Queens in that time. Also she stood out as one of the few ( or only?) surviving Noldorin exiles who still defied the Valar after the War of Wrath and for her the ban was not lifted. She could have been thought to have been unsuitable as Queen of the Noldor. She could also have waived her rights, if she had any. This offers no continuity problems. Elrond also does not have a better claim than GG. He is one more generation removed, even if he does descend from the House of Fingolfin. His claim is not better, but certainly he should be considered a candidate.

    All in all, having Fingon be his father was a choice CT made for convenience rather than accuracy, and I think CT is right to admit to this being an outright mistake on his part. If he had seen all the material at the time he was compiling the Silmarillion, he would either have left it obscure or have GG as the son of Orodreth.
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Postby solicitr » Thu May 10, 2007 10:30 am

An observation on 'male primogeniture:' I don't think it quite fits the given accounts (any of them) to impose the Salic Law on the Eldarin royal houses. The more I revolve the claim of kingship as it in fact passed (and didn't pass), the more I am convinced that Kingship among the Elves could pass in the female line, but not to a female: she would preserve it for her male descendants. If this is the case then it makes perfect sense why Dior is Thingol's Heir, not Luthien; that Earendil son of Idril rules at the Havens (and that his wife Elwing was not "Queen" of the Sindarin majority there), and that T never even considers Galadriel as being a claimant. (Perhaps one reason he dumped Amroth as G & C's son is that Amroth would have suddenly become a claimant- instead, G has a daughter, who has a daughter...whose son Eldarion 'scion of Elves' is considerd the ruler of Middle-earth's remaining Eldar.).

We are still left with the singular exception of Elrond, who was the very last male descendant of Finwe in M-E, and whose Fingolfinian claim was actually superior to Gil-Galad's (except of course that he hadn't been born when G-G took the title). It seems to me that, as a best guess, Elrond just didn't want the job- preferring (by medieval analogy) to be Archbishop rather than King.
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Postby MithLuin » Thu May 10, 2007 3:46 pm

To make the issue even more doubtful, consider that prior to the death of Finwë (a shocking event that was never supposed to happen), no laws of inheritance were strictly necessary. Fëanor felt he should get special treatment as his father's oldest son, but that's about all....

Whatever the laws were, they were most likely developed more fully between Finwë's death and the recognition of Fingolfin as High King of the Exilic Noldor. In other words, the laws were fixed knowing what the families looked like. They could have put in clauses to avoid the Kingship passing to someone they didn't want to have it, etc. The laws could have been very simple or very intricate - or downright silly.

I guess what I am pointing out is that it should by no means be obvious that a son inherits over a brother when you are dealing with (more or less) immortal elves. It seems the elves did recognize the claims of sons (though not daughters), but since it's never spelled out, we cannot be sure. (Unlike Numenor or Gondor, where we hear snippets of legalese) Also, the law of Doriath may have differed from the laws followed by the Noldor, so we don't know for sure if Thingol should be considered when looking at the High Kingship of the Noldor.

We know that Turgon was considered to have no heir, because he had only one daughter and a dead wife. So, I agree that daughters did not inherit. But we also know that Maeglin fancied becoming Turgon's heir by marrying Idril. So, would a daughter's husband inherit? Or was he hoping to be the father of Turgon's heir? Or was he just nuts? And what was his own position as sister-son to Turgon, anyway?

I agree that Eärendil is perfectly analogous to Dior Eluchil. Both are the only sons of the only daughter of the King. And both are Halfelven! So, if the laws of inheritance are the same, Eärendil should be the rightful heir of Turgon. Or at least, heir of the Kingship of Gondolin, which no longer existed. The other differences between the situations were the destruction of the Kingdom in question and the fact that Eärendil was still a child while Dior was an adult (by Half-elven standards). So, does age matter? Do elves have a law forbidding children from inheriting? Galadriel's situation is not strictly analogous. Celebrían had two sons, and Celeborn did not need an heir.

Also, what of foster children? Could they become legitimate heirs? If Túrin had survived Thingol, would he have become King of Doriath? Was Elrond (or Elros) Maglor's heir? We simply do not know the answers to these questions. What effect does disowning have on this? When Celebrimbor repudiated his father, did he lose his status as Curufin's heir? Or what about his right to claim Finwë as his great-grandfather?

Fingolfin's legitimate heir was Fingon, his oldest son. But what we know is that Fingolfin's father was dead, as was his oldest brother, and his younger brother was unavailable in Valinor. So, did they have a clause saying "Valinoreans can't inherit?" or just "unavailable" people were passed over? Because Turgon was fairly "unavailable" in Gondolin.... Or were brothers not an issue at all?

Fingon's legitimate heir is Turgon, his younger brother. Take that as you will. We know that age among brothers matters, for the inheritance was said to touch Maedhros more nearly than his brothers. But the pasing of the crown from Fingolfin --> Fingon and from Fingon --> Turgon are the only two "clean" inheritances we see. There is some confusion between Finwë and Fingolfin, and the void between Turgon and Gil-galad is a complete mess :P It is difficult to find patterns with only a few data points.


But what I think happened.... Finwë died leaving three sons. The youngest was the least pushy and therefore not an issue, but he was also the only one in Tirion, so he got the crown :roll: The other two sons ran off into exile, bickering along the way. Fëanor had the claim as the oldest, but he was under a Valar-imposed banishment (well, after Araman, even more so). He had his followers from Formenos, but most of the people chose to follow Fingolfin, the de facto king at the time of Finwë's death. Fëanor went to Middle Earth with his loyal followers only, making the argument a moot point, and himself the de facto winner...at least in Middle Earth. Then he got himself killed.

His heir was his oldest son Maedhros, who promptly got himself taken captive by Morgoth. Since he wasn't dead, it's not clear that his heir would have been chosen, but the remaining Sons of Fëanor must have set up some form of government in Mithrim. Perhaps Maglor was in charge; perhaps they shared resposibility...perhaps the three troublemakers were the real powers at that time. Who knows? But I doubt anyone was calling himself "King of the Noldor" in that camp.

Fingolfin answered Fëanor's arguement by showing up in Middle Earth. Of course, Fëanor was now dead, so they could no longer fight for the crown. Fingon son of Fingolfin rescuing Maedhros son of Fëanor healed the dispute - why? Why would the Fingolfinians aiding the Fëanoreans make up for the Fëanoreans abandoning the Host of Fingolfin? The Fëanoreans (or at least Maedhros) recognized that there was no way he could claim High Kingship over the people his father had abandoned. It just wouldn't work. Fingolfin, however, was in a position to unite the peoples. Maedhros had spent the last several years in Angband - he knew they needed Fingolfin's strength if they were ever to have any hope of defeating Morgoth. And so, we witness one of the few cases where one of the Noldor (and a Fëanorean, no less!) swallows his pride and does something for the greater good. Sw 8) 8) 8) 8) ns for Maedhros!

But what did he do? Did he abdicate as King, disinheriting his family, in the vein of Nuada - the one-handed King who "quit" because he could not fight? Only if he could claim to be the legitimate King of the Noldor. But the followers of Fingolfin had never recognized his father as holding that title - so why should they attribute it to him?

I think he was more clever than that. In the meeting with Fingolfin, he opted to choose an heir of Finwë. Fingolfin was the only son of Finwë around, so naturally he was the heir. By recognizing Fingolfin's legitimate claim he strengthens the throne of his uncle, rather than undermining it. It is not a gift he is bestowing on Fingolfin; it is Fingolfin's right, and he is merely recognizing it. By doing so, he is destroying any chance his family has of making a future claim. Because now Fingolfin is High King, and if anything happens to him in 450 years, they will be looking for an heir of Fingolfin, not an heir of Finwë. Fingon and Turgon are his sons, and that is that.

Turgon's heir (by rights) should be Eärendil...but it's not, it's this Gil-galad. How????

I agree that JRRT wanted to make him a Finarfinian later in life. BUT, to jump houses like that, you have to trace inheritance back to Finwë. Such a move reopens the question that Maedhros so effectively closed: what about the House of Fëanor? Yes, they are Dispossessed Kinslayers and nobody wants them to be High King. But if Gil-galad is a legitimate king, then he has to inherit the crown rightfully, not just by nabbing it. Elrond son of Eärendil and Celebrimbor son of Curufin both recognize him as the legitimate High King during the Second Age, and these two lords are the heirs of the houses of Fëanor and Fingolfin. Sooooo....how did Gil-galad end up in charge?

Gil-galad son of Fingon would have a greater claim to the title than anyone. The question of why Turgon inherited before him can certainly be raised, but at least he's in line for the crown! Maybe the Noldor had a clause about exhausting brothers before sons inherited, with the understanding that the son of the oldest brother was next in line (which is why it would be important that Fingolfin was *Finwë's heir*, not Fëanor's). The next in line for legitimacy would be JRRT's original idea: make him a Fëanorean who beats out Celebrimbor's claim (I dunno, Maglor's son, or Celebrimbor's older brother). Galadriel's grandnephew does not seem to have much of a royal leg to stand on. No matter how I look at the Finarfinians, they only seem to inherit if everyone else is dead - which they aren't, not quite.





Oh, and I'm glad Nerdanel has brown hair (maybe with red highlights). Because I think this smilie is perfect for her: :pull:
Her oldest son Maedhros looks like this: :club: (note the left-handed weapon)


Mithfanion, CJRT made a huge effort to standardize the names everywhere. Most of the time, his choices were good (ie, we can all live with Finrod Felagund), and occasionally they were poor (Aredhel Ar-Feiniel isn't really necessary or accurate). Considering that JRRT was continuously altering the names over the years, CJRT had to alter them in most texts to create the published Silmarillion (and UT, which attempts to be consistent as a companion work). The alteration of Gil-galad's name is thus not meant to be a dishonest sleight-of-hand, but merely correcting it to the chosen one. "Finellach" does not match what he chose to publish. While I can read about Thû and figure it out, I understand why he changed it to Sauron throughout those two works!
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Postby Mithfânion » Fri May 11, 2007 12:37 am

Mith

The beef is not that CT standardized the names in those UT chapters. It's that he changed Gil-Galad's identity, so that it would fit with what he chose in the published Silmarillion. Reading all the materials at hand this is IMO clearly an overly bold and unnecessary decision. He should have kept GG's parentage as JRRT actually wrote it in the last decade of his life, as the son of Orodreth, or in any case a Finarfian ( like he was during the LoTR). In CT's defense, he claims that he did not have all the material available to him and does find it very complex material. He admits that he would not have chosen Fingon as GG's father if he had analyzed the material when he was constructing the '77 Silmarillion.

Where we can definitly agree is that Gil-Galad son of Fingon is less murkier and more suitable for the High King of the Noldor. It removes all doubts, and would have been a very fitting lineage for Gil-Galad, King of the Eldar in Middle-Earth. I would have preferred it over him as a Finarfian in fact. However the fact is that JRRT did not intend for this to be so.

Such a move reopens the question that Maedhros so effectively closed: what about the House of Fëanor? Yes, they are Dispossessed Kinslayers and nobody wants them to be High King. But if Gil-galad is a legitimate king, then he has to inherit the crown rightfully, not just by nabbing it.


I do not think the Feanorians factor into it Mithluin. When Maedhros ( love the images you get of him when you read PoME, the copper-haired warrior, whose mother name meant " well-shaped one" ) waives the Claim of his House of the Kingship of the Noldor they are done for, out of the running. I don't think the fact that Celebrimbor is alive matters at all.

Elrond is more problematic, his claim could be seen to be equally valid. However reasons could have been invented by JRRT for why he did not become High King. For one, he was not born yet when GG became High King in the existing narratives.

The point being that when JRRT decided that GG was not just a Finarfian but particularly Orodreth's son, this would not have thrown up unsurmountable issues in terms of rights to the Noldorin kingship. JRRT could easily have found a way that did not contradict what he had earlier established, GG being a Finarfian and following up Turgon is not that controversial. However as CT pointed out, the GG son of Orodreth parentage did not touch the existing narratives so we simply don't know how JRRT imagined this worked. In the same way as we can only speculate about the exact rules for inheritance in previous generations. JRRT did not spell this out.

On page 254 of the War of the Jewels you still have GG as the son of Finrod. Now, this was later rejected as we know but what is instrumental here is that Finrod has his wife and son sent away to Nargothrond before he left on his quest with Beren, because he sensed great danger. It then says that they went to the Mouth of Sirion where GG became King of the Noldor. This shows that according to JRRT, GG as the son of Finrod did not have to worry about his rights to the Kingship from the Feanorians, or that jumping to the House of Finarfin was not an issue.

P.S.

This means I should imagine Gil-Galad as being blond! I always imagined him dark-haired, as the son of Fingon likely would be.
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Postby rowanberry » Fri May 11, 2007 9:32 am

Mithfânion wrote:P.S.

This means I should imagine Gil-Galad as being blond! I always imagined him dark-haired, as the son of Fingon likely would be.


Well, not necessarily; we don't know his mother's hair colour, and if she was a Sindarin elf (like it is told in the "son of Orodreth" genealogy), she most probably had dark hair. A bit like the case of Thranduil and Legolas... :P
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Postby solicitr » Fri May 11, 2007 9:58 am

It may be significant that Earendil was said to be "lord of the people" at Sirion's Mouths (admittedly from the very old QN)- which suggests that there may heve been divided loyalties at work. The folks at Siron's Mouths were the remnants of Doriath and Gondolin: the latter would have accepted Earendil as Turgon's grandson, and the former would have been subject to Elwing. There is however nothing about the population of Balar. Cirdan probably would have deferred to Thingol's Heir; but what of the Noldor? Gil-Galad Fingonion would have had a senior claim---but then again, his claim would actually have been senior to Turgon's as well. Gil-galad Rodrethion would arguably have an inferior claim- or would he?

Perhaps the law was simply "the eldest male member of the Royal House in Middle-earth." Elves didn't have to worry about an older generation being short-lived! Therefore Turgon would come before GG, no matter who GG's father was, and GG would then be senior to Earendil.

The whole damn problem of course would be much simpler if JRRT had merely postponed GG's assertion of kingship until after the War of Wrath- he's the last one standing. (I agree that Maedhros' quitclaim shut out the Feanorian branch for good).

We know that Turgon was considered to have no heir, because he had only one daughter and a dead wife. So, I agree that daughters did not inherit. But we also know that Maeglin fancied becoming Turgon's heir by marrying Idril. So, would a daughter's husband inherit? Or was he hoping to be the father of Turgon's heir? Or was he just nuts? And what was his own position as sister-son to Turgon, anyway?


Maeglin was Fingolfin's grandson- so he's certainly in the mix. Again, a claim superior to any Finarfinian? Maybe. He would have said so! However, Maeglin doubtless would have been faced with considerable opposition- not just from Noldorin 'racists' who would reject any half-Sinda, but from many who would consider him effectively a bend-sinister, the product more of rape than legitimate marriage. "Those who steal the daughters of the Noldor...do not gain kinship with their kin." Marrying Idril, whose son would be Turgon's direct heir, would certainly shore up his claim (think Henry VII marrying Elizabeth of York). But naturally that big lug Tuor and his brat had to be removed....
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Postby solicitr » Fri May 11, 2007 10:00 am

rowanberry wrote:
Mithfânion wrote:P.S.

This means I should imagine Gil-Galad as being blond! I always imagined him dark-haired, as the son of Fingon likely would be.


Well, not necessarily; we don't know his mother's hair colour, and if she was a Sindarin elf (like it is told in the "son of Orodreth" genealogy), she most probably had dark hair. A bit like the case of Thranduil and Legolas... :P


Except we know Thranduil was blonde, and have absolutely no idea what Legolas' hair-colr was.....
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Postby rowanberry » Fri May 11, 2007 11:11 am

Except we know Thranduil was blonde, and have absolutely no idea what Legolas' hair-colr was.....


That's exactly what I meant - Orodreth was most probably a blond Finarfinian, and his daughter had blond hair, but we don't know anything about his wife. Neither is the hair colour of Gil-galad mentioned anywhere, regardless of whose son he was at that point. :wink:
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Postby Mithfânion » Fri May 11, 2007 11:30 am

No, but as he is a Finarfian it's most likely that he would be blond.
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Postby MithLuin » Fri May 11, 2007 2:17 pm

The fact that Elrond was not alive is not really an issue - his father Eärendil was alive. I was not suggesting that Elrond should be Turgon's heir, but that Eärendil should be. Eärendil's heir would be one of his two sons. So, in the Second Age, that's Elrond, but not as the direct heir of Turgon. The question is why does Gil-galad beat out Eärendil, not why does he beat out Elrond. Elrond only enters in as "why does Elrond acknowledge Gil-galad as High King if he himself has the superior claim?"

Maedhros' mention of "oldest here present of the House of Finwë" suggests that seniority counts for something...but doesn't specify what, exactly. There is simply no information that would confirm or deny if brothers inherited before sons.

Maedhros did not cede his claim for all eternity. He merely ceded it to Fingolfin. Therefore, as long as an heir of Fingolfin exists, the Fëanoreans are out of the running. But, should the heirs of Fingolfin dry up (as they do in the case of a jump to the Finarfinians), then the question is re-opened, because now an heir of Finwë is sought.


Dark hair is dominant to blond hair. The blonds of the House of Finarfin tend to be replaced by dark-haired elves in a few generations. Galadriel (daughter of Finarfin) marries the silver-haired Celeborn and they have a suitably light-haired daughter. Celebrían then marries the dark-haired Elrond, and all three of their children have dark hair. The silver-haired Elwë married the dark-haired Melian, and their daughter Luthien had dark hair. Gil-galad son of Orodreth son of Angrod son of Finarfin would have ample opportunity to inherit dark hair from his mother or grandmother.

But, like so many things about Gil-galad....his hair color isn't mentioned ;) (to my knowledge).
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Postby solicitr » Sat May 12, 2007 7:44 am

MithLuin wrote:The fact that Elrond was not alive is not really an issue - his father Eärendil was alive. I was not suggesting that Elrond should be Turgon's heir, but that Eärendil should be. Eärendil's heir would be one of his two sons. So, in the Second Age, that's Elrond, but not as the direct heir of Turgon. The question is why does Gil-galad beat out Eärendil, not why does he beat out Elrond. Elrond only enters in as "why does Elrond acknowledge Gil-galad as High King if he himself has the superior claim?"

Maedhros' mention of "oldest here present of the House of Finwë" suggests that seniority counts for something...but doesn't specify what, exactly. There is simply no information that would confirm or deny if brothers inherited before sons.


I think that may be it precisely: seniority in age was what mattered, rather than line of descent. G-G was older than Earendil. After all, the Elves' quasi-immortality poses a real problem for the traditional Mannish system of lineal primogeniture- there's always a chance that a child from a senior line to the reigning King could pop up.

At least this hypothesis seems to fit the observed facts best: Turgon is Fingon's heir, notwithstanding (sometimes) Fingon's son; and G-G inherits from Turgon despite Earendil; in both cases they are the eldest living descendants of Finwe.

As to the Feanorians- it's interesting that after Gondolin's fall, Maedhros never asserts the royal claim, nor commands as sovereign that the Silmaril be delivered up. The QS phrase (the Annals don't mention it) is "waived his claim to kingship." Legally that implies a total relinquishment of the claim, not merely subordinating it to another. When Edward VIII abdicated, it was for good and all, not merely in favor of his brother Albert.
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Postby Tar-Elenion » Sat May 12, 2007 8:40 am

solicitr wrote:We are still left with the singular exception of Elrond, who was the very last male descendant of Finwe in M-E, and whose Fingolfinian claim was actually superior to Gil-Galad's (except of course that he hadn't been born when G-G took the title). It seems to me that, as a best guess, Elrond just didn't want the job- preferring (by medieval analogy) to be Archbishop rather than King.

Before there was a Gil-galad, Elrond 'ruled in the west of the world'. After the invention of Gil-galad he replaced Elrond in those passages (HoME 4 and/or 5).
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Postby Mithfânion » Sat May 12, 2007 9:11 am

Mithluin

Re-Earendil

It may be correct that way that Sollictr has explained it, that it simply goes to the eldest. Even if not, Tolkien could easily have written that into the narrative without facing insurmountable difficulties, or even minor contradictions with what had earlier been established. He did not go into it, and because jumping houses like that is not entirely without controversy, CT says that it would have been better to have left his parentage obscure. CT seems to feel that while it is clear JRRT intended for GG to the son of Orodreth, the fact that JRRT did not weave that specifically into the narratives make him think it would be better to leave his parentage open.

Maedhros did not cede his claim for all eternity. He merely ceded it to Fingolfin . Therefore, as long as an heir of Fingolfin exists, the Fëanoreans are out of the running. But, should the heirs of Fingolfin dry up (as they do in the case of a jump to the Finarfinians), then the question is re-opened


I disagree. To me it was always clear that the Feanorians were out of the running not just because they were in disgrace and The Dispossessed, but because Maedhros waived his claim. Not just to Fingolfin, no, he waived his claim and thus that of his House. I do not recall him waiving his claim and then saying "but when you or your sons die, I want it back". In the narratives, we do not ever afterwards hear of the Feanorians claiming the Noldorin Kingship either. Or do we?

Re; Haircolour

Dark hair is dominant to blond hair


Not necessarily so. Turgon had the dark hair of his father and married Elenwë of the Vanyar. Their daughter Idril had the light hair of her mother.

JRRT made it a point specifically that the House of Finarfin was golden-haired. It's conceivable that Orodreth married a dark-haired woman that Gil-Galad would have inherited dark hair from. Equally, GG could have had the light hair of his House. Since it was so common among the Finarfians to be blond I'll assume GG was as well.

Wasn't Finduilas blond as well?

I think my only beef with GG as the son of Orodreth is that Orodreth was something of a weakling, and in that sense GG as the son of Fingon is much more fitting.
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Postby Mithfânion » Sun May 13, 2007 10:56 am

Off topic:

Voronwe, I just finished reading the 12 page topic of Arda Reconstructed. Excellent, excellent work. What a truckload of work that has been, but an effort you can still be proud of many years from today, regardless of whether or not it will be published ( which I hope it will be, but in honesty I think it is so in-depth and hard to stomach for any but the most devout of readers that you may face a very difficult task there).
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Postby MithLuin » Sun May 13, 2007 3:52 pm

And there is always the issue of Gildor Inglorion of the House of Finrod.

His name translates to "Gildor son of Finrod of the House of Finarfin" in published Silmarillion parlance. He's just a random wandering High Elf. So, how come he supported the kingship of Orodreth's son?

Yes, in the end, Inglor was dropped as Finrod's name, and he has no son anyway. But I see the Finarfinian conception difficult to maintain or integrate, even if it *is* something JRRT clearly intended to make so.

As for Finduilas, I don't recall her hair color being mentioned. I know Nasmith painted her dark-haired, so I doubt it is mentioned in the published Silmarillion. This chart has her down as blond, so it may very well be mentioned. Ah, yes, it's in the Narn, which means it's in the CoH that I just read :oops: link

"Finduilas has no brother. Finduilas needs no brother."
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Mon May 14, 2007 1:33 pm

Mithfânion wrote:Off topic:

Voronwe, I just finished reading the 12 page topic of Arda Reconstructed. Excellent, excellent work. What a truckload of work that has been, but an effort you can still be proud of many years from today, regardless of whether or not it will be published ( which I hope it will be, but in honesty I think it is so in-depth and hard to stomach for any but the most devout of readers that you may face a very difficult task there).


Thank you for your kind words, Mith. Coming from you, that means a lot to me. It was alot of work (and actually continues to be as I refine it, in part from help from people like dna, solicitr and bachelor from here at TORC, and others at HoF). I agree that publication is a long shot, but I keep trying. One way or another, I'd like to make the final version available to the small group of devout readers that you refer to, and I intend to do so.
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Postby MithLuin » Thu May 17, 2007 8:52 pm

If I were wise, I would let this drop, or at least bow out of the discussion and let others carry it on.

But I am not wise, and I do not let things drop. (My interest in the Fëanoreans should be clear ;)).

I just stumbled across a fan-fiction discussion of Noldorin inheritance, though, I felt it too apt not to repost. It is a discussion between Maglor (whose POV we hear) and Maedhros, when they are both young (39 and 48, respecitively) and living in peace in Valinor before Melkor is released.

Dawn Felagund wrote:"I am thinking about it," he says in an innocuous voice.

Distracted, I miss his meaning. "About what?" I ask.

"Of having you—everyone—call me Russandol."

He is looking at me now, appraising my reaction. With the dumb bluntness of a small child, I say, "But your name is Nelyo."

"No. My name is not Nelyo. My name is Nelyafinwë Maitimo Russandol. 'Nelyo' is a …" he pauses, "an aberration."

...

I repeat, insisting: "But it is your name, Nelyo." I realize too late that, ridiculously and perhaps disrespectfully, I have used the name that he wishes to abandon.

"It has no meaning, Macalaurë." He smiles wryly. "Well, it does, of course. It means 'third.' Why would I want to be named after a number?"

"It is part of your father-name!"

"I despise my father-name. It also means nothing."

"It is indicative of your inheritance."

"An inheritance that I shall never claim." Silence. How can I argue with that? But Nelyo goes on. "When am I ever going to be king, Macalaurë? Should Grandfather Finwë see a need for abdication, even temporarily, Atar would take his place, and can you see Atar relinquishing the kingship? And who would I be to try to take it after that? It would be like an apprentice seeking to fill the place of the two greatest masters."

"You would make an excellent king, I think," I tell him.

"That is like me telling you that you would fit well as a bird. You are not a bird. Despite your fair voice, you shall never be one. And so there is no sense in calling you as though you one day will."

"Perhaps Atar and Grandfather would travel together somewhere, meaning that they both have to abdicate, and you would serve in their stead."

"No, Nolofinwë would serve, and he would not abdicate, and he would travel nowhere willingly in Atar's company."

"Nolofinwë is not the heir."

"Nolofinwë is a high prince." I am startled by the abruptness of Nelyo's words. This is evolving into an argument. "I am not."

"He is Grandfather's second son! He is not his heir. That is your right."

"He is the eldest son of the rightful King and Queen of the Noldor. He could make a claim on my place."

My heart leaps. "Surely not," I say.

"It is a question that has been asked."

"By whom?"

"By members of the court." He sees the alarm in my eyes and quickly qualifies: "They do not intend to take Atar's or my place from us. It is out of curiosity alone that the issue is raised. It is not a question that our system was designed to answer. We operate of the contingency of having only one spouse. Remarriage and children by two spouses were not factors when our system of inheritance was contrived. It was assumed that the high prince would take the throne only after the abdication of both the king and the queen. Grandmother Miriel no longer lives to bestow that right upon Atar." Nelyo's features relax, as though hoping that mine will follow. "Macalaurë," he says; he reaches across the space between us and touches my cheek with his warm, slender fingers, "do not look so. Nolofinwë would have to contest Atar's rights, and do you honestly think that he would do that?"

I think of the sourness that exists between my father and my half-uncle. (Like how it so natural to think of him as a half-uncle while Arafinwë is an uncle or just Arafinwë.) "Do you?" I ask, not wanting to answer first.

"Of course not! Nolofinwë would accept Grandfather Finwë's wishes, and Grandfather Finwë has made it very clear that Atar is his heir."

"But if the court is discussing it—"

"The court discusses many abstract things: What happens to the spirits of Avari that refuse Námo's call? Do orcs go to Mandos? All kinds of things. There are no concrete answers to those things, but they like to banter about them, for sport almost. Our people were given minds capable of great things, and we like to use them on questions that defy an easy answer. It is like stretching in the morning: It feels good, like you're more alive than before."

Slowly, I am reassured. Nelyo's words and manner placate me in the same manner that I have seen horsemasters calm a frightened steed. A practiced diplomat, I think. A true king.

"Perhaps," Nelyo adds, his voice gentle now, convincing even me, "even if Atar were to also abdicate, the throne would go to me. It would be a more difficult decision, though, whether to skip Nolofinwë."

"It would be Atar's wishes as king, don't you think?"

"Perhaps. Or maybe Nolofinwë or I would simply stand aside for the other."

I sense a subtext in Nelyo's words, worming like a snake beneath the water. He should know better than to try such tricks on me, his closest brother, perhaps the person who knows him best of anyone in Arda. I can read him clearer than Tengwar on a page. "Would you stand aside for Nolofinwë, Nelyo?"

His eyes are bright on mine, glints of light on the water. "I do not know, Macalaurë." He knows. He knows, but he doesn't want to say. He adds, in a firm voice that threatens to meander into wistfulness, "I would meet with him for sure. I would like to see peace restored between our houses."

An impossible dilemma, I think.

Another Man's Cage



The author sticks to the Quenya names, since the story takes place in Valinor. So, to translate, Atar = Father (so, in this case, Fëanor), Nelyo is Maedhros, Macalaurë is Maglor, Nolofinwë is Fingolfin and Arafinwë is Finarfin. The idea put forward - that the Noldor's interest in lore would lead them to ponder these questions before they were strictly necessary - is plausible. Obviously, the author is writing with foreknowledge of what will come later, so it is a bit heavy-handed, but she brought up the issue of the two different queens, and what effect that would have on determining Finwë's heir. Maedhros' name - Nelyafinwë - can be seen as evidence of the rules of succession, but it can also be seen as evidence of the spite between Fëanor and his half-brothers. By not acknowledging their existence, he counts to three when naming his first-born son. It would be interesting to learn if others count the same way.
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Postby Galin » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:55 pm

So, if Gilgalad was "young" in 456, it is possible that 16 years later he was still considered too young to be High King. Elves come of age anywhere between the age of 50 and 100, IIRC.


Morgoth's Ring (Laws And Customs Among The Eldar) provides 50 years, for some 100 years, but I wonder if Tolkien revised this. In any case, he also wrote ('they' are the Númenóreans): 'Thus (as the Eldar) they grew at much the same rate as other Men, but when they had achieved 'full growth' then they aged, or 'wore out', very much more slowly.' Note 1, The Line of Elros, Unfinished Tales

And, from author's notes to NKE ('neter, kanat, enek'): Note 1: 'C.E. ? netthi. C.E. tth > Q., T. tt; S. þþ > þ. nette meant 'girl approaching the adult' (in her 'teens': the growth of Elvish children after birth was little if at all slower than that of the children of Men). The Common Eldarin stem (wen-ed) wendé 'maiden' applied to all stages up to the fully adult (until marriage).' JRRT, from Vinyar Tengwar 47, texts generally dated 1967-70

Old thread I know, but interesting. Just thought I would add this bit.
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Postby Dân o Nandor on Anduin » Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:35 am

So, just curious, are you implying from these snippets that Gil-galad's potential age is thus less likely or more likely to exclude him from inherent Kingship upon Fingon's death? :)
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Postby Galin » Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:34 am

Well, considering, for example...

solicitr wrote: Perhaps the law was simply "the eldest male member of the Royal House in Middle-earth." Elves didn't have to worry about an older generation being short-lived! Therefore Turgon would come before GG, no matter who GG's father was, and GG would then be senior to Earendil.


So far I find this a neat enough approach, myself.

Mithluin wrote:As for the age thing - an 18 year old elf is hardly considered an adult! They did not reach full maturity until 50-100 years. Human children are 'briefer' while elves linger in childhood a bit longer. There is really no way an 18-yr-old Gil-galad would be allowed to fight in any war, by any one. He was sent to the Havens for safety, I think that is agreed.


My point is that this sort of statement is being ruled in some measure by one text, that being Laws And Customs Among The Eldar, but this is not Tolkien's only word concerning the growth of Elves, and not his latest.

It's possible that it would have simply made things easier for Tolkien to think in 'mortal terms' when it came to chronology and Elves. The author's notes to NKE might reflect this, but that speculation aside, the notion found in Laws And Customs need not rule here in my opinion.
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Postby MithLuin » Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:59 pm

It wasn't just 'Laws and Customs' though. In the Narn, there is a comparison between Lalaith and elf-children -- and she is said to be 'briefer'. Tolkien recorded half-elves marrying in their 20s, but no actual elves do that.

Also, in The Lost Road, Numenoreans remained youths for a surprisingly long time. The age at which Erendis and Aldarion wed is also rather late for normal mortals. Aragorn is 88 at his own wedding. The Numenorean lifespan is of course traceable to Elros and his elvish blood.

Thank you for sharing that, though, as it does bring to light the idea that the 50-100 age for maturity was not his only thought on the subject. Hobbits coming of age at 33 is much more set in stone.


As for the original discussion...I still haven't figured out inheritance for these people ;). I can't even tell if "Nelyafinwë" is a good data point or a political statement. At least we can eliminate the possibility that Maedhros is older than Fingolfin, since he does refer to their ages.
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Postby Galin » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:17 am

I guess I was focusing on the one text from which the specific numbers 50-100 hail, and forgot the Lalaith example, for instance. IIRC, this description comparing Lalaith to an Elf-child is from the part of the Narn dating to the later 1950s, which I think is close (or close enough) to the writing of Laws and Customs.

And speaking of the children of Húrin (though maybe it's already mentioned in the thread), I note the small detail that Gil-galad does not appear in the family trees for The Children of Húrin (although Orodreth is still the brother of Galadriel in any case).
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Postby Galin » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:26 am

Voronwe wrote: 'It may have been an ephemeral idea, but it certainly wasn't Christopher or Guy Kay's invention, or fiction. And I would argue that trying to incorporate the later concepts of Gil-galad's parentage would have been difficult, bordering on impossible.'


Maybe I missed it but, did you argue this point here (or in your book, I didn't check)? Or did I ask you this already... somewhere?

Ah my memory :)

dna wrote: 'Now, regarding Finduilas' precious Narn/CoH quote, I actually don't see it as an impediment to Gil-galad son of Orodreth at all:'

(snip)

MithLuin wrote: 'either she despises her brother, or she does not have one'

dna wrote: 'If she had said "I would I had a brother", that would make it so. Or "I would I had a valiant brother", might lend support to your added qualifier. But the implication of what she says sounds like a brother she thinks of as absent or even cowardly (but not despises), or else she's being totally coy about a brother whisked away in secrecy. Her reference to Túrin being kingly like the House of Fingolfin, also has no bearing on an absent brother not yet king of anything.'


While I applaud the internal approach, do we necessarily need to worry much about this statement? Externally Tolkien would not be bound to this line any more than to a rejected name, for instance.

This connects to my question to Voronwe: is there a problematic ripple effect with respect to the later Finarfinian idea (which is a return to a Finarfinian notion), one that is arguably 'too great' to surmount here?
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