The most commonly questioned / unresolved issues of LOTR.

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Postby Almond Puff » Tue Apr 03, 2007 5:51 pm

Hmm, I'd say Balrogs have wings! But, like with penguins, the can't use them! Maybe just an evolutionary thing... :lol: :roll:
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Postby FrodoTook » Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:44 pm

Thanks for the clarification wilko185. I thought you were referring to the time of LotR but wanted to be sure.

You could be right Almond Puff :)
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Postby Almond Puff » Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:51 pm

Yay me! :) :) :)
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Postby Baron » Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:34 pm

This is probably the wrong place to ask this, but I bet someone can help me out with the answer. What did Eonwe in The Silmarillion say would happen to the Edain in Valinor? Thanks ahead of time. :)
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Postby Almond Puff » Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:47 pm

I'm not sure--but since this thread seems to be forgotten, I'm replying to move it up so that someone who can help will respond! :)
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Postby rowanberry » Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:19 am

Baron wrote:This is probably the wrong place to ask this, but I bet someone can help me out with the answer. What did Eonwe in The Silmarillion say would happen to the Edain in Valinor? Thanks ahead of time. :)


Well, this wasn't actually said by Eönwë himself, but by Elves sent to Númenor to bring a message from the Valar. I think this is what you're looking for, though:

And were you so to voyage that escaping all the deceits and snares you came indeed to Aman, the Blessed Realm, little would it profit you. For it is not the land of Manwë that makes its people deathless, but the Deathless that dwell therein have hallowed the land: and there you would wither and grow weary the sooner, as moths in a light too strong and steadfast. (From Akallabêth; emphasis mine)
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Postby Almond Puff » Sun Apr 08, 2007 11:08 am

Okay, now, back on topic! :)
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Postby Arassuil » Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:35 pm

I hope its ok for the newbie to submit a few questions.

1. Where did the Dunedain Ranger's families live?
2. Where thirty Dunedain Rangers were soummoned "in haste", how many Rangers remained in the north at the time of the War of the Ring?
3. What were the reasons Arnor as broken up into three smaller kingdoms?

These are probably not discussed enough to make a grand list, but they are questions that are asked alot in Dunedain discussion circles.
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Re: The most commonly questioned / unresolved issues of LOT

Postby Vaevictis Asmadi » Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:53 pm

1) Who / what was Tom Bombadil?
1. This is not resolved in anything Tolkien wrote, so we don't really know the answer. My half-serious opinion is that he was a collective hallucination brought on by mushrooms. :wink:


2) Do Balrogs have wings?
2. This is also unresolved. (my personal opinion is no)


8 ) What color was Legolas' hair?
The Sylvan Elves are a branch of the Nandor people. Legolas himself however, (and all the Mirkwood royal family), was one of the Sindar. The Sindar and Nandor are both part of the Teleri kindred, so they probably looked similar anyway.
As described especially in "Quendi and Eldar" (War of the Jewels p. 384) the Sindar mostly had brown or black hair, with a small number of them having silver hair (such as Celeborn): "In general the Sindar appear to have very closely resembled the Exiles [Noldor], being dark-haired, strong and tall, but lithe." In fact, the only Elves who frequently had blonde hair were the Vanyar, and Noldor with Vanyarin ancestry, such as Galadriel.
So Legolas most likely had dark hair.

8)How old is he? What was his mother's name?
I have no idea how old he is or what his mother's name is.


10) Do Elves have pointed ears?
According to the Etymologies, Elf ears are "more pointed and leaf-shaped" than Human ears, although this most likely does NOT mean they had huge ears six inches long, like elves are depicted in some fantasy art! (unrelated to Middle-Earth)
The etymological connection between the Elvish words for "ear" and "leaf" were retained in the Lord of the Rings, so this is an idea that Tolkien did not abandon after writing the Etymologies.
Of course this is still kind of vague. Some humans in real life have somewhat leaf-shaped ears, so how pointed they actually were is anyone's guess. I'd say slightly more than a Human's, but not by much.

Nope. When the line of Elros is able to choose to be either elf or man, do you think their ears mutate accordingly?"

No, of course not, how silly! The Half-Elven were given a choice of which Kindred they would be *counted among*, that is, whether they would remain in the World until the end of time or age and die and leave the world like a Human, but they did not cease to be half-Elves and become *actual* Elves or Humans. Elrond was called Half-Elven, not Formerly Half-Elven.


#. Was Glorfindel of Rivendell the same elf as the Glorfindel who died fighting the Balrog in Gondolin?
Yes. Tolkien stated this definitively in a work titled "Glorfindel" (published in Peoples of Middle-Earth) which he wrote towards the end of his life. This is a finished text which exists in a first and a final draft (both published).
Glorfindel died but, like most Elves, was eventually brought back to life by the Valar. Unlike most Noldorin Exiles, he was allowed to live in Valinor instead of the offshore Lonely Isle of Eressea. After the forging of the Rings of Power and the fall of Eregion, the Valar decided the people in Middle-Earth might need a little help and sent him to Middle-Earth. Later they sent the Wizards for the same reason, since apparently Glorfindel wasn't enough of a help.


#. How many balrogs were there?
According to a note which Tolkien wrote on "The Annals of Aman" (Morgoth's Ring p. 80) "There should not be supposed more than say 3 or at most 7 ever existed."


#. How many Elf-mortal marriages were there?
The three marriages which are remembered generally are Beren and Luthien, Tuor and Idril, and Aragorn and Arwen. But these are the three famous marriages of Mortal and *Elda*. Apparently, at least one non-Eldarin Elf married a mortal: Mithrellas, a Nando and the beloved of Amroth, who ended up married to a Numenorean exile. I can't remember his name, though. There may have been other non-Eldarin Elves who also married mortals, that Tolkien didn't mention. Although considering that the Nandor had very little contact with Mortals, I personally doubt it happened more than once or twice.
Then there is Dior, the son of Beren and Luthien, and his wife Nimloth who was a Sindarin Elf (and related to Celeborn). Dior was half-Mortal, one-quarter Elven, and one-quarter Maia, but Tolkien never revealed what his fate was -- whether he remained in the world like an Elf, or left the world after death like a Mortal. So whether his marriage counts is a matter of opinion.


#. Was Gollum a hobbit?
Yes. He was a Stoor.


#. What happens to Elves/Men/Dwarves when they die?
Most Mortals souls involuntarily travel to the Halls of Mandos in Aman, the Blessed Realm. They stay there for a short time before leaving the World (Arda) altogether. Since Arda was intended to be a Christian universe, one can probably assume they go to Heaven. Some Mortals do become ghosts but apparently this is pretty rare and it seems to involve special circumstances.
Elves can voluntarily go to the Halls of Mandos or refuse and become ghosts, but the vast majority of them heed the summons of Mandos, especially if a Dark Lord happens to be oppressing Middle-Earth at the time of their deaths, since a soul that refuses the summons of Mandos is defenseless against the "counter-summons" of the Dark Lord. Elf souls in Mandos are judged by the Vala, Namo Mandos. Generally, most Elves are allowed to return to life (unless they actually prefer to remain dead, like Miriel) after a time of "waiting," but some are held in Mandos until the end of time, if they have committed evil deeds in life and never repent of them or ask for forgiveness. This is what happened to Feanor.
Elves who come back to life are given a new body by the Valar, who are able to create a body that looks exactly like the one they had before they died. Judging by Glorfindel, though, they do glow in the dark.
The fate of Elves is described in detail in "Laws and Customs of the Eldar" (Morgoth's Ring) and "Glorfindel" (Peoples of Middle-Earth) for those interested to read more.
Tolkien never said what happens to Dwarves, although according to their own beliefs, they also go to the Halls of Mandos.


#. Who was Gil-galad's father?
Although the Silmarillion calls him the son of Fingon, Christopher Tolkien has stated (in the Peoples of Middle-Earth) that this was a mistake in which he misinterpreted the (very confusing) texts left by his father. Tolkien briefly considered making Gil-Galad the son of Fingon, but soon changed his mind and made him the son of Orodreth instead. Christopher Tolkien, after more careful analysis of the texts, wrote in the Peoples of Middle-Earth that this was his father's "final" decision on the matter. Unfortunately, JRR Tolkien never changed any of the actual narrative texts in the Silmarillion to reflect this.
Fingon was listed in the 1959 genealogies as having a son Finbor and a daughter Ernis, but in the last version of these genealogies his children were crossed off and Tolkien wrote that he had no children. (I imagine he was probably in a similar situation as Finrod.)
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Postby merlyn » Sat Apr 14, 2007 4:31 pm

Another unresolved discrepancy in LOTR is the part where Gimli says at the Battle of the Hornburg, "Till now I have hewn naught but wood since I left Moria", which clashes with Legolas's earlier mention of having "hunted and slain many Orcs in the woods" at the time of the breaking of the Fellowship. (Maybe Legolas shot down all the orcs before any of them got within axe-range of Gimli - though such a solution seems too evocative of the movie version of Legolas.)
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Re: The most commonly questioned / unresolved issues of LOT

Postby MithLuin » Sat Apr 14, 2007 5:07 pm

Vaevictis Asmadi wrote:8 ) What color was Legolas' hair?
The Sylvan Elves are a branch of the Nandor people. Legolas himself however, (and all the Mirkwood royal family), was one of the Sindar. The Sindar and Nandor are both part of the Teleri kindred, so they probably looked similar anyway.
As described especially in "Quendi and Eldar" (War of the Jewels p. 384) the Sindar mostly had brown or black hair, with a small number of them having silver hair (such as Celeborn): "In general the Sindar appear to have very closely resembled the Exiles [Noldor], being dark-haired, strong and tall, but lithe." In fact, the only Elves who frequently had blonde hair were the Vanyar, and Noldor with Vanyarin ancestry, such as Galadriel.
So Legolas most likely had dark hair.

I would accept this logic willingly, except for one detail. Legolas' father Thranduil is identified as having blond hair in The Hobbit. So, anything goes. :D

10) Do Elves have pointed ears?
According to the Etymologies, Elf ears are "more pointed and leaf-shaped" than Human ears, although this most likely does NOT mean they had huge ears six inches long, like elves are depicted in some fantasy art! (unrelated to Middle-Earth)
The etymological connection between the Elvish words for "ear" and "leaf" were retained in the Lord of the Rings, so this is an idea that Tolkien did not abandon after writing the Etymologies.
Of course this is still kind of vague. Some humans in real life have somewhat leaf-shaped ears, so how pointed they actually were is anyone's guess. I'd say slightly more than a Human's, but not by much.


There is also a quotation he wrote to his publishers describing hobbit ears as slightly pointy and "elvish", but that just means that he recognized the general understanding of elves=pointy ears, not that his elves necessarily had pointed ears.

The other problem is that Turin was sometimes mistaken for an elf in Nargothrond. Either his shaggy hair hid his ears, or else his ears weren't that remarkable in a culture of elves.

And the other problem is that Tolkien almost never illustrated a blasted elf for us! Beyond "Beleg finds Gwindor" which is too small to pick out those details in.

That's why this question is on the list. There are hints to help resolve it, but none of them are completely conclusive. That, and people sometimes feel strongly about them. :D

#. Was Glorfindel of Rivendell the same elf as the Glorfindel who died fighting the Balrog in Gondolin?
Yes. Tolkien stated this definitively in a work titled "Glorfindel" (published in Peoples of Middle-Earth) which he wrote towards the end of his life. This is a finished text which exists in a first and a final draft (both published).
Glorfindel died but, like most Elves, was eventually brought back to life by the Valar. Unlike most Noldorin Exiles, he was allowed to live in Valinor instead of the offshore Lonely Isle of Eressea. After the forging of the Rings of Power and the fall of Eregion, the Valar decided the people in Middle-Earth might need a little help and sent him to Middle-Earth. Later they sent the Wizards for the same reason, since apparently Glorfindel wasn't enough of a help.


Yes, of course. But there are people who do not accept this work as canonical because it was written so long after LotR. Meaning...it is in the same book as "The Problem of Ros," and that can't be canonical because Tolkien wrote "most of this fails." A weak argument at best, but you have to admit that it is ret-conning, and that the details of elvish reincarnation had not been worked out when the story was written. The reason it makes the list is because it is a question that frequently comes up.


#. How many balrogs were there?
According to a note which Tolkien wrote on "The Annals of Aman" (Morgoth's Ring p. 80) "There should not be supposed more than say 3 or at most 7 ever existed."


Yes. But that does not mean this idea works or that is consistent with the other stories he wrote, where there were about 1000 balrogs ;). Again, it is a point that is debated because the concept of a balrog evolved into a great demonic power over the course of Tolkien's lifetime.

The question of Gil-galad's parentage is on here for the same reason - Tolkien gave multiple answers, and not all are satisfactory for 'the last High King of the Noldor."



Another question:
Why didn't Elrond send Glorfindel with the Fellowship instead of Pippin? Not everyone likes Tolkien's answer to that!
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Re: The most commonly questioned / unresolved issues of LOT

Postby Vaevictis Asmadi » Sat Apr 14, 2007 6:47 pm

MithLuin wrote:I would accept this logic willingly, except for one detail. Legolas' father Thranduil is identified as having blond hair in The Hobbit. So, anything goes. :D

Yes... but when he wrote the Hobbit, he didn't even intend it to take place in Middle-Earth. He only connected the Hobbit to Middle-Earth when he wrote the Lord of the Rings. Since he sort of ret-conned the Hobbit to be part of Middle-Earth, the material in it is part of Middle-Earth, but what happens when it contradicts something else he wrote?

But I think that the description in "Quendi and Eldar" is meant to be a general description of the most common appearance of the Sindar. The great majority of Noldor were dark-haired, but Miriel was white-haired, and Glorfindel was golden-haired, though he may have had Vanyarin ancestry. So it is not to say that Legolas *can't* have been blonde, only that it is less likely. We can't actually know for sure, we can only say what is most likely.


The other problem is that Turin was sometimes mistaken for an elf in Nargothrond.

Really? I don't recall any passage that said he was mistaken for an elf. I had thought it was said he looked very elf-like, but not entirely like one.
The illustration of Beleg and Gwindor in Taur-nu-Fuin is an especially weird one, since Beleg seems to have a beard! But in Lord of the Rings it is said that Elves never have beards. Then later Cirdan has a long grey beard. I don't really know what Tolkien was trying to convey about Elves and facial hair.


Yes, of course. But there are people who do not accept this work as canonical because it was written so long after LotR. Meaning...it is in the same book as "The Problem of Ros," and that can't be canonical because Tolkien wrote "most of this fails." A weak argument at best, but you have to admit that it is ret-conning, and that the details of elvish reincarnation had not been worked out when the story was written. The reason it makes the list is because it is a question that frequently comes up.

If a person is not wiling to accept anything at all except the Lord of the Rings itself, then of course none of these questions can be answered at all.
Anyway I don't see why the situation of Glorfindel is retconning, since his opinion on the matter at the time he wrote the trilogy itself was that Glorfindel could have been the same as the earlier Glorfindel. Already at the time he considered having him talk about Gondolin at the Council of Elrond.
And I would certainly not put "Glorfindel" in the same category as "The Problem of Ros." As you said, Tolkien wrote "most of this fails" and rejected The Problem of Ros, which was itself only an unfinished first draft. He never wrote anything at all to reject "Glorfindel," in fact he wrote a finished second draft of it. So the two texts are not at all comparable in this way.
Anyway, the general idea of Elvish reincarnation is not a ret-con. The information about reincarnation goes back to what was written in "Laws and Customs" and decades before that in the first drafts of the "Quenta Silmarillion". In fact Tolkien considered from the very early texts that Elves reincarnate, the only thing he changed was the way in which they gain new bodies. The idea of reincarnation certainly existed at the time he wrote the Lord of the Rings.


Since Tolkien rejected earlier ideas about there being 1000 Balrogs, I don't see why it is a problem that the later statement about Balrogs contradicts it. He rejected the earlier idea. If anything at all goes, regardless of whether Tolkien himself rejected it, then I can claim that "Aragorn" is really a Hobbit named Trotter, and you have no evidence at all against me! And "Beren" was really an elf named Maglor son of Egnor. And "Galadriel" didn't exist at all. See.. it doesn't really work.

To try to find the "answer" to a question, the person asking would ideally need to specify if they are asking for Tolkien's *final* answer, his *first* answer, or the answer written in the year closest to, say, 1945. My personal approach is that if Tolkien rejected something and replaced it with something else, then generally we can't really argue with him. I regard rejected material as only being rough drafts. It isn't always clear if the new idea was just a passing scribble or something that he held on to, but I don't think it is fair to say that in every case of contradiction there is no possible answer, because nearly everything he ever wrote was contradicted at some point!

I'm not trying to be obnoxious, I think I am confused about the purpose of the list of questions. I thought it was a sort of FAQ. But if the texts which have the information cannot be used at all, then I'm sorry I can't be helpful at all in answering them. I guess I don't understand then why the list of questions was posted? I know that none of these questions have 100% certain answers and some of them are pretty vague anyway, but I thought that the texts other than the Lord of the Rings are at least considered to have some weight.



Why didn't Elrond send Glorfindel with the Fellowship instead of Pippin? Not everyone likes Tolkien's answer to that!

Because they were trying to be stealthy, and Glorfindel glows in the dark!
No seriously, I don't know the answer to this one.
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Postby MithLuin » Sat Apr 14, 2007 10:24 pm

You aren't being obnoxious, and I am not about to reject HoME as uncanonical. I understand that Tolkien would hold LotR over anything in HoME as canon, because he approved the former for publication. But the purpose of this list is to come up with questions that can have more than one answer, or at least debatable answers....or at the very least, get asked alot. The "problem" of there being two characters named Glorfindel (who are really the same) was answered quite satisfactorily by Tolkien. But the question does get asked, and there are people out there who think they were two different elves, just because. The two Legolases are certainly not the same elf, so....well, anyway.

An example of such a conversation. Not surprisingly, the first comment was "do a search" - it was not a new question!

The only real argument I have seen in support of two different Glorfindels.

Since the purpose of this list is to compose a list of questions that have been debated to death, it stands to reason that most of these questions have threads here with full discussions on them. So, the goal is not to come up with a pat "answer" to each question. These are FAQs, yes, but just that - a list of "Frequently Asked Questions," not the answers to said questions!

It probably would be kind to dig up links for each of them, but I don't think we need to debate them all here.

Rejecting the Hobbit as canon is not entirely fair. While it is true that it wasn't fully set in Middle Earth (at least at first), it had many references to the Silmarillion (such as the swords being from Gondolin), including a description of the three types of High elves (Light Elves = Vanyar, Deep Elves = Noldor, Sea Elves = Teleri). So, I'd say that Tolkien's comment on Thranduil's hair color is not to be completely divorced from his ideas of hair color among the Sindar. Not that Legolas couldn't have dark hair - after all, we know nothing about his mother, so if she were a typical dark-haired Sinda, chances are good her son would be dark-haired too. But there is not a single reference in the books to Legolas' hair color, despite one reference to his head being 'dark' against the stars and several to his face or features being 'fair.' Neither comment refers to the color of his hair, but people think they remember reading it, and so...they form stronger opinions than the question warrants. Hence its inclusion on this list :D


I agree that there were not thousands of Balrogs. But I have great difficulty resolving his comment that there were only 3-7 with his stories. Gothmog, lord of Balrogs, had to be slain by Ecthelion in the Fall of Gondolin. Another Balrog had to fall with Glorfindel. And then there was the one Gandalf killed. So, there's the three. Fine. But what are we to make of comments about 'most' of the balrogs being killed during the War of Wrath? The point is that some of the ideas that are recorded in essays are perfectly valid, but were not always taken up in the stories. Some of them were edited in by Christopher, but not all. Questions about whether or not Middle Earth was Round World from the beginning are difficult to answer, because Tolkien's last answer may not really fit or make any sense without retelling the entire story. The complexity of the source material leads to discussions and debates, naturally :) I was not saying your answers were wrong, or even that I disagree with them.
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Postby FrodoTook » Sat Apr 14, 2007 11:18 pm

MithLuin said...

It probably would be kind to dig up links for each of them


Hello Vaevictis Asmadi

Following is a great place to find the in depth debates / discussions....
( just in case you have not come across the thread yet )

The Big List of the best "Books" threads - the List

http://forums.theonering.com/viewtopic.php?t=69510

Nice to meet you and enjoy your visits.
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Re: The most commonly questioned / unresolved issues of LOT

Postby wilko185 » Mon Apr 30, 2007 2:05 pm

Vaevictis Asmadi wrote: I think I am confused about the purpose of the list of questions. I thought it was a sort of FAQ. But if the texts which have the information cannot be used at all, then I'm sorry I can't be helpful at all in answering them. I guess I don't understand then why the list of questions was posted? I know that none of these questions have 100% certain answers and some of them are pretty vague anyway, but I thought that the texts other than the Lord of the Rings are at least considered to have some weight.

I had thought this thread was just to compile a list of the most-debated areas, not to hash out definitive answers to all those questions in this one thread. I personally have preferred answers to most of these questions, but I don't propose to defend them all here :D. One of the reasons that these questions are so much discussed is the very canonicity issue that you're getting into. I think most people give some weight to non-LOTR texts, on some sort of sliding scale. If a suggestion in a lesser-ranked text is not contradicted by anything else Tolkien wrote, it seems reasonable to go with it. However, Hobbit's blond elf king is a more finely-balanced issue than that. Arriving at an agreed version is like Biblical scholarship ;).


dna wrote:The only REAL mystery is why the death of Gorbadoc Brandybuck is recorded as 1363, when he was clearly hosting Drogo and Primula at the time of their deaths in 1380...

:wink:
I will venture an answer to this one :). A quote from the Readers's Companion, p. xli:
In a letter to his publishers in 1967, Tolkien wrote:Personally I have ceased to bother about these minor 'discrepancies', since if the genealogies and calendars etc. lack versimilitude it is in their general excessive accuracy: as compared with real annals or genealogies! Anyway the slips were few, have now mostly been removed, and the discovery of what remains seems an amusing pastime!

So Tolkien brushes aside the issue of historical inaccuracies (in the appendices, not the text). It's not too convincing perhaps, and I'm not sure he would have done so earlier in his life.
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Re: Blue Wizards

Postby Nerem » Tue May 01, 2007 7:44 am

Actually, from what I understand, they were actually successful in their mission, as they left to the East and created a resistance against Sauron. So no, I wouldn't say they failed and became evil...
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Postby Kez » Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:51 am

Who Tom Bombadil 'is' is impossible to say, but his character is very much alike in spirit to Peter Pan. I also have a suggestion: Tom Bombadil, Goldberry and Old Man Willow may actually be three parts of the same personality. And the Barrow-wights too, maybe.
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Thu Jun 07, 2007 12:48 pm

I have a question to add to the list, if I may.

Why didn't Elrond give anything to the Nine Walkers? I mean, Celeborn and Galadriel gave them tons of useful stuff! All Elrond gave was a bottle of booze to Gandalf.... not even rope!

You would think that, given the importance of the mission, the party would have been given SOMETHING to help them with their quest!

Just a thought.
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Postby Kez » Thu Jun 07, 2007 2:58 pm

I think Elrond gave them the right advice.
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Postby MithLuin » Thu Jun 07, 2007 6:16 pm

Hello Kez and Nerem, and welcome to TORc!

Thank you for your suggestions of questions to add to the list. If you would like to discuss these topics, I'd recommend starting a thread about it, so people will see your question (not everyone will read this list ;)).

Personally, Edmund, I think that Elrond considered people to be far more valuable than any gadget he could send with them. So, he chose the Fellowship (with Gandalf's help) and that was his main contribution. But he did send something beyond miruvor - he had Andúril reforged for Aragorn, and that has to count for something!

I dunno, Kez, I think that Tom and Goldberry are complementary, but I don't think Old Man Willow has anything to do with them. He merely lives in the same woods.
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Postby Kez » Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:33 pm

Hello MithLuin, thanks for the welcome :) Sorry for hitchiking this thread.. last post here, I swear !

My idea about Tom Bombadil, that he is a character like Peter Pan, the child-who-never-grows, stems from the general interpretation I give to the book. That Old Man Willow is a part of Bombadil himself follows as an 'educated guess'. I tried to open a new thread with what I think about the book, but my post stuck against some 'forbidden words' filter and is currently awaiting on moderators review :o, So I gotta wait... or I will post again with the fordbidden words disguised :lol: (it was a perfectly legit post, I swear again.. !).

Edit: yiikes, it seems I have an istintive knack in 'forbidden words'.. I got it again with another post. And after reading and rereading it, the most suspicious word is just hip-py. I guess moderators have got a lot of work here :P
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Postby solicitr » Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:57 am

MithLuin said:

I would accept this logic willingly, except for one detail. Legolas' father Thranduil is identified as having blond hair in The Hobbit. So, anything goes.

Yes... but when he wrote the Hobbit, he didn't even intend it to take place in Middle-Earth. He only connected the Hobbit to Middle-Earth when he wrote the Lord of the Rings


That proposition is now very doubtful with the publication of Mr Baggins. It's pretty clear that TH always took place in a loose version, at least, of The Silmarillion universe.
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Postby rowanberry » Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:04 am

Kez, that "forbidden words" thing has something to do with fighting spam bots; it only affects your two first posts or so, so you should be over it now. :) It really helps against the bots, but it sure is confusing for new members.

OK, and now I stop posting off topic.
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Postby Turin Turambar » Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:56 am

I dunno, Kez , I think that Tom and Goldberry are complementary, but I don't think Old Man Willow has anything to do with them. He merely lives in the same woods.

I agree with that on this basis. Treebeard says something to the accord of "there are some trees in the forest that have black hearts. oh, there is nothing wrong with their wood...." another time he says that there was a time when a squirrel could go from the old forest to Fangorn without touching the ground. i would assume that there were huorns on both sides, but when th forest was made smaller, the Ents stayed together. i think (correct me if im wrong) that the Ol,d Man Willow was just a huorn gone bad.
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Postby foscobaggins » Sun Aug 26, 2007 10:30 am

Why didn't the Eagles fly Frodo to Mt. Doom?
I don't think it was because the Eagles are Valar. To be honest, this answer kind of ruins the story for me. The Eagles saved Gandalf & Bilbo & the dwarves from the wargs (and Gandalf again on two other occasions), fought in both the Battle of the Five Armies and the Battle at the Black Gate, and saved Frodo & Sam, so it seems they would be willing to help with such an important quest.
I don't think this question is answered in`the books. There are some places that suggest possible reasons, however (e.g., it is stated that Sauron had the power to govern storms along the borders of his land, etc.).
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Thu Aug 30, 2007 1:48 pm

I am not too sure flying the Ring into Mordor via the Eagles would have worked.

Surely Sauron would have noticed the Eagles coming from miles and miles off. Seeing that they bore a hobbit (and probably Gandalf and the others), Sauron certainly would have been tipped off to the purpose of the assault. All he would have to do is rush some troops or a few of the Nazgul into the Crack of Doom.

It isn't as if Frodo could drop the ring from the backs of the Eagles. God only knows where the ring would land given the winds and upward draft of the volcano.

The Eagles would have had to land, let the ring bearer enter Mount Doom and fulfill his quest. All the while all of Mordor would be waiting.

Still.... I often wonder why the Eagles weren't used to get the party a little closer or at the very least, over the Misty Mountains!!
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Postby truehobbit » Thu Aug 30, 2007 2:35 pm

The Eagles are nothing that can "be used".

They are a heavenly power, and only come in when someone has tried their best and has thereby 'earned' help with the final step that can't be achieved alone, an act of grace that shows at the same time that the recipient is deserving of help and that alone, without the help of higher powers, they would fail.
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Thu Aug 30, 2007 2:45 pm

truehobbit wrote:The Eagles are nothing that can "be used".

They are a heavenly power, and only come in when someone has tried their best and has thereby 'earned' help.


Really? I have always thought that the Eagles were much like the Ents. Very interesting.
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Postby MithLuin » Thu Aug 30, 2007 3:01 pm

The eagles are servants of Manwë. Or at least, Thorondor in the Silmarillion came specifically in answer to a prayer to Manwë, and was generally seen as his agent in Beleriand. So, Hobby's analysis is valid, if not specifically stated within LotR.

The ents relation to Yavanna is similar to both Manwë's relation to the eagles and Aulë's relation to the dwarves.
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Postby MithLuin » Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:26 pm

I was thinking...it might be a good idea to take the questions from this thread an compile a list of links that match each of them. Kinda like a 'highlights' of the Big List, but with the catch that threads could be linked from any forum. That way, this thread could serve as a jumping off point for discussions of these oft-debated topics.

What say you?
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