Section 1: 'Ainulindalë' and 'Valaquenta' Thread 1B (Open)

Come here to join in a structured study of Tolkien's Works. Please read the guidelines before posting. New and veteran readers welcome.

Postby mnemosyne » Sat Jun 22, 2002 12:58 am

Ah, post 50 -- better make it a good'n!<BR><BR>The one Ainu that I thought about - Lookswise (that isn't a word, is it . . .) is Yavanna. I guess I consider her to be really young, mid to late 20s. Since she was an important part of the Spring of Arda, I assume she looks eternally young and beautiful, clad in green and silver. Similar to Goldberry, but with long, reddish-brown hair.<BR><BR>Aule seems older than Yavanna, maybe mid-thirties, with brown hair, and sturdy. Somewhat like Hephaestus. Mmm. Yeah, that's about it.<BR><BR>mnem
User avatar
mnemosyne
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2002 11:02 pm
Top

Postby Falborn » Sat Jun 22, 2002 6:35 pm

Arpharazon, you made this comment about jallan's most recet post:<BR><BR>"Also, surely The Silmarillion IS Tolkien's earlier writings (somewhat revised) NOT a coherent background. It is "background" only to (say) The Hobbit and LOTR. But that would be rather like saying the Old Testament is "background" to the New."<BR><BR>I stumbled over that comment, too. My read is that jallan was talking about the Ainulindale and the Valaquenta, not the Silmarillion. <BR><BR>I believe this thought follows from your comments. I believe we are subecting Tolkien's legendarium to a level of scrutiny that the Bible and other religious mythologies wouldn't be able to withstand either (IMO). If our standard is a wholly consistant and convincing mythological explanation of the creation of the world and Man's place within it, relationship to all other beings (divine or otherwise), an explanation of evil, death and life after death and on and on - is it surprising that Tolkien was unable to fully succeed? And if that is the standard, has anyone succeeded? Milton? Dante? Goethe? I don't know the answer. My point is that it is a very, very high standard. At this point it might make more sense to concentrate more on what Tolkien was able to accomplish, which was enormous.<BR><BR>This has been my first opportunity to contemplate ideas like the relationship between free will and evil, in particular. And although these ideas are not fully resolved (and perhaps never can be - fully) I'm in a much better position to pursue them than I have been. (jallan - you will be happy to know I've started poking through my sister's Catholic reference books).<BR>Arpharazon - what a great visual question. Your David/Tulkas doesn't work for me since the David is a teen. I think of Tulkas as more of a Hercules type. In Book of Lost Tales Tolkien describes him as an athelete type who is always naked and competes in physical games with other other atheletes of his household all the time while his wife is out dancing on the lawn.<BR><BR>Fingolphin, thanks for straightening me out about that quote about the fea and orcs. That was very helpful. Unless I hear otherwise, I will assume that somehow orcs did not have fea but were able to speak and make decisions anyway. It doesn't quite make sense, but it may be in this case it never will.
User avatar
Falborn
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2002 11:11 am
Top

Postby Fingolfin_of_the_Noldor » Sun Jun 23, 2002 5:36 am

Falborn, I am afraid I may have given you the wrong impression in regard to that quote. It is in regard to the possibility of maiar in orc and eagle form having children not really orcs in general. Such a theory, however, does seem to have been applied to animals associated with Valinor and other incarnated Ainu(eg trolls and Sauron) perhaps in the not so distant future when we get to such things this subject will provide for quite a debate having to do with the nature of animals in ME and the soul.
User avatar
Fingolfin_of_the_Noldor
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1816
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2001 9:46 am
Top

Postby jallan » Sun Jun 23, 2002 8:22 am

To ArPharazon, I agree with everything in your recent post closely enough. I also personally find Eddison almost unreadible ... but Tolkien did not, for he praises Eddison's work highly in more than one place. In <i>Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien</i>, letter 144, speaking of his own use of invented languages, Tolkien notes:<BR><BR><< It seems seldom regarded by other creators of imaginary worlds, however gifted as narrators (such as Eddison). >><BR><BR>More important, from letter 199:<BR><BR><< I read the works of E.R.R. Eddison, long after they appeared; and I once met him. I heard him in Mr. Lewis's room in Magdalen College read aloud some parts of his own works -- from the <i>Mistress of Mistresses</i>, as far as I remember.¹ He did it extremely well. I read his works with great enjoyment for their sheer literary merit. My opinion of them is almost the same as that expressed by Mr. Lewis on p. 104 of the <i>Essays presented to Charles Williams]</i>.² Except that I disliked his characters (always excepting the Lord Gro) and despised what he appeared to admire more intensely than Mr. Lewis at any rate saw fit to say of himself. Eddison thought what I admire 'soft' (his word: one of complete condemnation, I gathered); I thought that, corrupted by an evil and indeed silly 'philosophy', he was coming to admire, more and more, arrogance and cruelty. Incidentally, I thought his nomenclature slipshod and often inept. In spite of all of which, I still think of him as the greatest and most convincing writer of 'invented worlds' that I have read. But he was certainly not an 'influence'.<BR><BR><b>1</b>. Eddison in fact read from <i>The Mezentian Gate</i>, see no. 73. <b>2</b>. 'You may like or dislike his invented worlds (I myself like that of <i>The Worm Ouroboros</i> and strongly dislike that of <i>Mistress of Mistresses</i>) but there is no quarrel between the theme and the articulation of the story.'[/quote]<i>Most</i> of Tolkien's denial of Eddison's influence appears to to be because he came to Eddison late, after Tolkien had already created his own legendarium.<BR><BR>Your summaries of differences among the various writers are excellent. One might also point out the differences in Tolkien's various works as well: the sweet fairyness of <i>The Book of Lost Tales</i>, the staidness of the <i>Akallabêth</i> and most of the <i>Quenta Silmarillion</i>, the comic and ironic and very northern <i>The Hobbit</i>, the adventure novel taste of <i>The Lord of the Rings</i>, the flat, vague, allegorial and satirical "Leaf by Niggle", the soap opera saga of "Aldarion and Erendis".<BR><BR>I find it interesting that so many writers of the early years of the twentieth century started to indulge in private world building, something not much seen before except in the limited sense of a series of sequels and in shared universes such as that of Arthurian romance and genuine traditional legendariums and mythology. The American writer James Branch Cabell (one of my favorite writers) indeed partly revised all his early writing in various different styles (including his fantasy tales) to make it somewhat fit as a coherent narrative in a coherent world, though one with multiple creation "stories". See <a target=new href="http://www.violetbooks.com/cabell.html">Violet Books: James Branch Cabell</a>.<BR><BR>Of course William Blake in the eighteenth century had created his own mythos (see <a target=new href="http://facstaff.uww.edu/hoganj/contents.htm">William Blake's Urizen books</a>), and there are various religious/occult world views from various sources which were not presented as fiction, e.g. the theosophy of Madame Blavatsky.<BR><BR>Falborn posted:<i> I believe we are subecting Tolkien's legendarium to a level of scrutiny that the Bible and other religious mythologies wouldn't be able to withstand either (IMO). If our standard is a wholly consistant and convincing mythological explanation of the creation of the world and Man's place within it, relationship to all other beings (divine or otherwise), an explanation of evil, death and life after death and on and on - is it surprising that Tolkien was unable to fully succeed?</i>Exactly. Theological interpretation within Christianity, to take only the most obvious religion in this context, arises for the same reasons: apparent discrepencies in the Bible (e.g. does God repent?), no obvious answers in the Bible on many points (e.g. fate of the souls of those dying in infancy), and a believer's own ideas about what is fitting differing from those of another believer (e.g. free will opposed to predestination).<BR><BR>Falborn posted:<BR><BR><< Unless I hear otherwise, I will assume that somehow orcs did not have fea but were able to speak and make decisions anyway. It doesn't quite make sense, but it may be in this case it never will. >><BR><BR>In <i>Morgoth's Ring</i> (HoME 10), "Myths Transformed", VIII, <i>The Orcs</i>, Tolkien sets forth his theory that Orcs were probably indeed animals and their "talking was largely echoic (cf. parrots)", and that Húan and the Eagles were "taught language by the Valar, and raised to a highter degree -- but still had no <i>fëar</i>. Then he imeediately turns to the another possiblity:<BR><BR><<     It remains therefore terriby possible there was an Elvish strain in the Orcs. These may then even have been mated with beasts (sterile!)  and later Men. Their life-span would be diminished. And dying they would go to Mandos and be held in prison till the End. >><BR><BR>Orcs from Elves, Orcs from Men, Orcs from beasts, Orcs with souls, Orcs without souls ... Tolkien apparently never did resolve this.<BR><BR>[edited by a moderator to make the URLs listed above active]
User avatar
jallan
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 885
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2001 12:39 pm
Top

Postby Fingolfin_of_the_Noldor » Sun Jun 23, 2002 9:37 am

Jallan, though I do not wish to back into the grand and never ceasing debate as to the origins of orcs I do think we can lend the greatest credence to the idea that orcs were for the most part corruptions of one or both of the Children of Iluvatar. First of all the idea that they were beasts "tinkered with" as trolls does not seem to hold as much water in light of the canon and numerous sent letters. Second the whole 1955 idea seems to have been rather short lived in light of writings ix and x especially and again almost comtemporary letters and finally this specific text was specifically said to be an instance of "thinking with the pen" and this is well evidenced given even the "(sterile!)" in your which is probably one of the main reasons Tolkien rejected this concept especially in light of later(T.A.) events(alluding back to canonical considerations). I personally think that most authroitative theory would be one involving a combination of the earlier and later elven and later men theories.
User avatar
Fingolfin_of_the_Noldor
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1816
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2001 9:46 am
Top

Postby Falborn » Mon Jun 24, 2002 2:41 pm

In a different thread I commented about Nienna's possible change of status from the 1937 version of the Valaquenta to the post LOTR 1951 version. She goes from being the sister of Lorien and Mandos to being sister of Manwe and Melkor. This could be because of the importance of pity as a force in LOTR: a force equal to wisdom and power in the outcome of the story.<BR><BR>Has anyone else noticed any possible changes in the Ainulindale and the Valaquenta, middle and late, that could have been inspired by the writing of LOTR.
User avatar
Falborn
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2002 11:11 am
Top

Postby ArPharazon » Mon Jun 24, 2002 11:23 pm

This thread seems to have become a bit moribund of late (I refer to the quantity of postings not the quality <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>). May it is that we are moving now towards the end of June and people are beginning to think of the next section.<BR><BR>But it struck me that it would be fitting if, before the end of the month, <b>as many as possible of us were to summarise what we have gained from this great debate</b>. That might act as a sort of conclusion, and maybe help us all to pick out strands and issues that have been important to us.<BR><BR><b> Even those of you who have said that you have been intimidated by the flow, depth and sometimes contentiousness of the discussion might feel you can particpate in this. If you have lurked throughout, or just been reading some of the posts, then you might have gained something. I don't see these summaries challenging each other in any way - so if you have been dying to say something all along, NOW IS YOUR CHANCE. </b><BR><BR>For me personally, I think I have concluded that we should not even TRY to analayse Tolkien's creation myth too deeply. It will not stand the strain, and we run the risk of deconstructing and losing what is good and beautiful in the amalysis - without much benefit or gain.<BR><BR>What I feel Tolkien has done is to take the Biblical story and frame it anew in a musical setting (which is original) but without changing much at all. He was perhaps too religious a man to be iconclastic in his writing about this. He NEEDED a creation myth to explain the origin of elves and men and their relationship, but he would (I think) have seen it as sinful, to tinker with the figure of God Himself, or the essential outlines given to him by scripture.<BR><BR>I think this goes someway to explaining why Eru/Iluvatar is such a distant figure in all the writings. He resembles the Old Testament Jehovah rather than the New Testament, Christian, God of LOVE (tenderness is not a part it seems of eru's make-up and even the resurrection of Gandalf in LOTR can be seen as having an ulterior motive). Perhaps this also tells us that Tolkien personally did not see God as particularly a loving God, but as a figure of awe, to be revered and even feared rather than loved. I don't think this would be inconsistent with what we know of the man.<BR><BR>So far as the origins of evil are concerned, the very full discussion here has demonstrated to me that again Tolkien dodges the issue just as the Bible ostensibly does. In Genesis, God does not CREATE Satan, we learn much later of his fall. But as the serpent in eden, or in the Book of Job, the Devil is simply a given. This is the same for Melkor.<BR><BR>Thus Tolkien can argue that his creation story can dovetail with the Biblical - that off-stage in ME, the Fall takes place before the arrival of men on the scene in Beleriand. To me this confirms that we ned to understand that Tolkien has tinkered with the Biblical myth to the least extent compatible with fitting it into his own "sub-creation".<BR><BR>Finally - because I don't want to go on too long - I think I have learned not to look for consistency in the characters or roles of the Ainur - especially the Valar. Their nature includes elements of Christian, Nordic and Classical myth and legend, and paganism kept on coming along and peeping over the edge. Tolkien was never successful in reconciling this and it can lead to confusion if explored or investigated too deeply.<BR><BR>In essence then, the Valar are literally a "deus ex machina" (the god from the machine of Classical Greek and Roman theatre, lowered in to sort out the loose ends at the climax of a play). There IS no strand of consistency that can be found in their role or actions. Indeed, they rapidly and radically diminish in their importance as the tales proceed. Until in LOTR they exist only by implication.<BR><BR>Thus, as we wind up this initial thread, I find the Ainulindale and Valaquenta a thing of even more beauty than I thought before, but I now recognise how shallow it is. Like a mirror it can for a while reflect what we put into it, but there is no genuine substance. It is derivative, albeit shaped by the hand of a genius. Like thin ice, it may tempt us to make our way acrossit, but it will not bear our weight for long.<BR><BR>The two books are the necessary precursor to the story - but they are difficult, and in the final analysis, I think should be read for themselves. These discussions have illuminated the sources and influences which shaped the books, but it has also revealed their rather two dimensional quality.<BR><BR><b> Now - What have others learned, or taken from this thread? </b>
User avatar
ArPharazon
Mariner

 
Posts: 6743
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 1:21 pm
Top

Postby mnemosyne » Tue Jun 25, 2002 12:27 am

Oh, damn it! I just wrote a whole lot and somehow it got erased. Ok, let's see if I can remember . . .<BR><BR>When I first started reading the Sil, I found it to be difficult. Granted, I am a very busy person, and my inability to concentrate on reading may have contributed. After joining the VSG, and seeing the highly abstract and philosophical (metaphysical) posts by people like ArPharazon and Fingolfin, Novice and Jallan, and a host of others (of course, not forgetting the ever-ready-to-answer Wilko the White <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>) I read Ainulindale and the Valaquenta with a whole new purpose.<BR><BR>I wanted to get in deeper, between the lines. Unfortunately, I found I could not do so. Because really and truly, they are just very pretty backstories, beautiful, even, and although I do love the tales and the language, there was not much more to them.<BR><BR>I'll admit, I was rather afraid of making a fool of myself when I posted my oh-so-insignificant opinions. But as time has gone on, I've felt even more confident and able to keep up -- or at least try to <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>. I think that if some the lurkers out there had only tried to stick their noses in a bit more, they would've gotten even more out of this experience.<BR><BR>I really appreciate the fact that in the VSG, topics are discussed and rediscussed until even the most dense (read: mnemosyne) can understand them.<BR><BR>I also appreciate the general atmosphere of respect found here. (Especially between ArPhy and Fingolfin, who have finally agreed to disagree <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>) All in all, this first section has been a very nice way to get some insight on a worthwhile book!<BR><BR>mnem
User avatar
mnemosyne
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2002 11:02 pm
Top

Postby jeanelf » Tue Jun 25, 2002 7:10 am

ArPharazon, I agree completely with the first paragraph of your summary. This is my thought as well. On a personal level, I've enjoyed reading the various comments made by the members here; it is an amazing and insightful lesson reading each individual's take on things, whether or not we all agree on any particular point. I have never looked too deeply into the tale of the Valar and have always rather taken it at face value, being a rather necessary "set up" in talking about the history of the world and the elves -- their tale being the more important and interesting part for me, personally. I know their tale is tied up with the Valar, but somehow, the Valar and their importance seem to just slip out of my mind later on and become "background." I still feel this way, but I must say that I did thoroughly enjoy the opinions stated about the Valar by others and about the nature of good and evil and did a lot of thinking about that in particular. Thanks to all.
User avatar
jeanelf
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2001 1:40 pm
Top

Postby Falborn » Tue Jun 25, 2002 7:17 am

I also appreciate the atmosphere of respect.<BR><BR>Thank you again, Arpharazon, for a wonderful post. I came to this study from a different (perhaps opposite) place: I had always thought of the Ainulindale and the Valaquenta as kind of shallow and have been very happily surprised at how much weight they could bear. Now I have come to see them as a compliment to Christian mythology, that can also be read and enjoyed by non-Christians: myths from a time before the writing of the Bible, that support it and even fill in where necessary (purgatory, for example). Demonstrably, Tolkien had a clear understanding of what he was up to: of course he would, look at his professional field where he was a leading light. From letter #131 to Milton Waldman (printed in 'Letters' and in later editions of 'The Silmarillion'):<BR><BR>"...On the side of mere narrative device, this is, of course, meant to provide beings of the same order of beauty, power and majesty as the gods of higher mythology, which can be accepted - well, shall we say, baldly - by a mind which believes in the Blessed Trinity."<BR><BR>For myself, the best result of my participation in this study group has been the simultaneous contemplation of the same stories written and rewritten by the same man from youth to old age. I have come to see the stories as 'five dimensional', occurring in three dimensions plus time squared - the Time of the stories themselves and the organic time of the author. I think we are very fortunate he never 'finalized' them for publication, because now their final form is an arc - thanks Christopher Tolkien. Tolkien (JRR) himself (I can't remember where) spoke of his stories as having become drenched in the sense of bereavement of an older man. That doesn't make them better or worse, just organically somewhat different.<BR><BR>For myself, I don't think we have to choose between the light beauty of the myths in the Lost Tales and weighty later 'Legendarium'. I have begun to see all the versions as one work.<BR><BR>Far from dissapointed, I guess I don't expect any work of Man to resolve all cosmological questions even though we have spent most of our efforts in this thread discussing them. I do hope we can learn how to discuss the beauty of Tolkien's art as we move forward. In that spirit, from 'Morgoth's Ring', page 20: <BR><BR>"...In the deep places he gives thought to music great and terrible; and the echoes thereof runs through all the veins of the Earth, and it's joy is as the joy of a fountain in the sun whose springs are in the wells of unfathomed sorrow at the foundations of the world."<BR><BR>Beauty of language, emotion, and visual imagery all in one profound, rolling sentence that I found by opening a book to a random page.
User avatar
Falborn
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2002 11:11 am
Top

Postby greenleafwood » Tue Jun 25, 2002 2:06 pm

Before coming into the study group, I read the Silmarillion at face level, and why not, it is beautifully and poetically written. There were a few instances which I needed clarification, but did not realize there was so much to discuss and delve into. But I learnt a lot from reading the insightful posts, maybe a lot more than I expected or desired - questions multiplying into further questions! I don't know if younger or newer readers were intimidated at the long, analytical posts like I was at times, but that is just part of the learning process. I'll keep on plodding on. Thank you all.<BR><BR><BR>greenleaf<BR><BR><BR><BR>
User avatar
greenleafwood
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1882
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2002 3:03 pm
Top

Postby Novice » Tue Jun 25, 2002 9:42 pm

What a lovely post, Falborn! and I share many of your sentiments. Thanks Arphy for taking the initiative (once again! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> what would we do without you! ) with your expansive summary post.<BR><BR>Greenleafwood, I also felt I was barely keeping my head above water at times, but kept posting regardless.<BR><BR>I have relished the intensive and nitpicky analysis--even where I couldn't keep up with some of the ideas and where the literary references were beyond me. I agree that the Ainulindale and the Valaquenta are not meant to be mined so deeply, but I've learned so much from the deconstructive process we've been through. I think I have the kind of mind which can grab onto a word and analyse the life out of it, and yet still enjoy the entire literary experience of the work of which the word is just one atom. It becomes a springboard for my imagination, and I dwell on irrelevancies like--"what did Nienna see from her windows, which looked outwards from the outer walls of Arda?"<BR><BR>In some ways, this first discussion has eliptically included an analysis of the man-how Tolkien thought, where was he coming from, what did he want from the work? He would probably have objected very much at any focus on the author instead of the story, but I have found it so helpful and will take what I've learned through the remaining discussions.<BR><BR>I also have integrated all the versions through time into one story in my mind. Indeed, Falborn it is an arc, and I am so glad that there is no final 'canonical' Silmarillion, which would close us off into a linear analysis, depriving us of the richness we have now.<BR><BR>If I could regress a little to the visual images of the Valar; I didn't respond at the time Arphy posited the question because I honestly find it so difficult. For one who usually thinks visually, I surprised myself by not really having a mental image of the Valar--or for any of the individuals in The Silm or the LOTR for that matter except for a striking handful: I have a very strong mental image of Gandalf--and it does not correspond to the actor, I'm afraid (and I've forgotten his name <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-blush.gif"border=0> Ian Kern??? Oh well) He resembles my Gandalf, but only as a brother would. My Gandalf has a longer, roman and less fleshy nose, a stronger bone structure and much better skin. I also have a fairly good image of the various dragons, but of the rest, they are more 'impressions' out of focus, without features. I couldn't tell you what colour hair Legolas has, I'm afraid....<BR><BR>As to the Valar: all I can say is they seem lofty, none of the 'women' (except Este) are girlish, but ageless and womanly; I don't know about their hair and their flesh, but I feel their presence, tangible as a tree or a mountain, but remote. There is a beauty and a strength that cannot be seen, but only felt. <BR>Yavanna is the incarnation of the shimmer of sun through spring leaves, and the rustle of undergrowth in autum, reminiscent of a willow and upright as an oak in winter. <BR>Varda is dark as a starlit night, sparkles like icy dew, fresh as the wind off a mountain.<BR>Ulmo comes with a torrent of gale, salty brine on lips, wild hair<BR>Mandos is still, brooding as the breathlessness of a pine forest before the outbreak of a storm.<BR>Nienna is motherly, embracing, serene, comforting and solid.<BR>Aule is ruddy, strong with the heat of a furnace, his thought the restlessness of quicksilver<BR>Orome I think of a centaur (which is very unTolkienish, I know) a melding of hercules with the spirit and speed of a thoroughbreed<BR><BR>I have no images of the others. That's it. Am anticipating with relish reading the summaries of others--what you've learnt, what you would have liked to see, what was difficult, what was mind-blowing.<BR>
User avatar
Novice
Ranger of the North


 
Posts: 2791
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2002 5:19 pm
Top

Postby jeanelf » Wed Jun 26, 2002 6:57 am

What an absolutely lovely post, Novice!
User avatar
jeanelf
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2001 1:40 pm
Top

Postby scirocco » Thu Jun 27, 2002 4:07 am

Yes, Novice, your creative abilities shine through yet again. I hope your professional work allows the rest of the world to see your talents in the way we do here.<BR><BR>Like many others, I have got a great deal out of just listening here. Some of the points I had previously grasped dimly from my own understanding or by reading Tolkien analysis elsewhere, while others were completely new to me. Much, much flesh has been added to the bones for me.<BR><BR>Just a couple of points: jallan posted:<BR><BR><i>his writings are mostly not intended as philosophy, but as good stories.</i><BR><BR>Quite right, but what is even more amazing is that while LOTR was written as <i>...the desire of a tale-teller to try his hand at a really long story</i>, the mythology as a whole was<i>...fundamentally linguistic in inspiration.</i><BR><BR>In other word, the concepts we've been discussing were secondary to Tolkien's main interest. The fact that the material can withstand such searching scrutiny as has been applied to it here is even further testament to its greatness.<BR><BR>I have a question of my own:<BR><BR>Does anyone think that the Valar are rather two-dimensional? They never seem to argue, there are no spats, alliances or cliques - just unwavering loyalty to Eru, each other and opposition across the ages to those of their number who have gone across to the other side. From what I recall of Greek mythology, and the little I've read of the Kalevala, weren't those gods constantly bickering? With the exception of Osse, who could get a bit stroppy, and Aule's (understandable) lapse with the Dwarves, don't the Valar leave Tolkien open to the criticism of simplistic, black-and-white, good-or-evil-with-nothing-inbetween characters which he was subjected to when LOTR was released?
User avatar
scirocco
Ranger of the North
 
Posts: 2103
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2000 6:12 am
Top

Postby Novice » Thu Jun 27, 2002 4:42 am

A nice point Scirocco, they do seem rather flat; I speculate whether that was because Tolkien was simply not that interested in them--certainly he used them as tools for the shaping of his world, because I guess his literary influences would have provided the bones of a model. <BR><BR>But I think he was much more interested in the issues of mortality, those issues which affect flesh and bones human beings just like us--for the elves to him were human beings perfected, elevated, and the Men were just as we and subject to our temptations, and of course, the hobbits ultimately became his 'everyman' the humble salt of the earth which enobles.<BR><BR>So, he lost interest in the Valar as anything more than a backdrop, in my opinion, a handy mechanism but not much more than that. <BR><BR>--and thank you for your very kind words; a silver tongue you have, my friend! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR>
User avatar
Novice
Ranger of the North


 
Posts: 2791
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2002 5:19 pm
Top

Postby Falborn » Thu Jun 27, 2002 4:09 pm

From FOTR, 'Three is Company', pages 88 and 89:<BR><BR>Snow White! Snow White! O Lady clear!<BR> O Queen beyond the Western Seas!<BR>O Light to us that wander here<BR> Amid the world of woven trees!<BR><BR>Gilthoniel! O Elbereth!<BR> Clear are thy eyes and bright thy breath!<BR>Snow White! Snow White! We sing to thee<BR> In a far land beyond the Sea.<BR><BR>O stars that in the Sunless Year<BR> With shining hand by her were sown,<BR>In windy fields now bright and clear<BR> We see your silver blossom blown!<BR><BR>O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!<BR> We still remember, we who dwell<BR>In this far land beneath the trees, <BR> Thy starlight on the Western Seas.<BR><BR><BR>Does anyone know the translation of the song to Elbereth in 'Many Meetings', page 250?
User avatar
Falborn
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2002 11:11 am
Top

Postby jallan » Thu Jun 27, 2002 4:48 pm

Tolkien <i>Ainulindalë</i> appears first in <i>The Lost Tales</i> material and was never much changed.<BR><BR>It's a wonderful philosophical creation myth, setting up a backstory which one would not be surprised to find as a genuine traditional variant somewhere among Chrstiains, Jews, Moslems or Zarathustrans or other monotheists who tend somewhat towards dualism, though denying true dualism.<BR><BR>The Valar, as a merging of angelic powers with pagan divinities works better than one might expect.<BR><BR>The "Ainulindalë" is a work on its own, in part because it is the only explicitly religious work in the published <i>Silmarillion</i>. Never elsewhere will we see behind the curtain of the world, beyond the boundaries of time and space.<BR><BR>It's promise is that though the world we live in is a marred world, corrupted from the beginning by Evil, yet Eru will, as the story unfols, in the end use this Evil only to make even great Good.<BR><BR><BR>The "Valaquenta" is a different kind of work: dry notes of lore about the Valar and their followers of the same kind, and their enemies. One sometimes finds similar introductions to persons and places by editors at the beginning of genuine translations of mythology and legend, or even works of fiction on occasion.<BR><BR>Though it grew out of notes on the Valar and their followers in the earlier writings, as a work of its own it reminds me of very much of the <a target=new href="http://www.bartleby.com/181/011.html">"Introduction" to Thomas Bulfinch's <i>The Age of Fable</i></a>, published in 1913.<BR><BR>Together the <i>Ainulindalë</i> and the <i>Valaquenta</i> are two short separate works, of which Tolkien might have said to someone who had read them, as he wrote in <i>The Hobbit:</i>:<BR><BR><< Now you know enough to go on with. >><BR><BR>The stage is set for the <i>Quenta Silmarillion</i> proper.
User avatar
jallan
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 885
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2001 12:39 pm
Top

Postby crispycreme » Sat Jun 29, 2002 3:03 am

Arphy wrote (a few days & posts back):<BR><BR><i>Now - What have others learned, or taken from this thread? </i><BR><BR>That I'm the type of person that needs <u>actual plot elements</u> of a story before I can get too personally involved. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> I backed out of these first couple of chapters when the metaphors and religious symbolisms started flying. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> I'm gearing up for the *actual Silmarillion* (which, if I'm not entirely mistaken, begins with the next segment of this discussion).<BR><BR><BR>(We *are* starting the next segment soon, right? <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif"border=0> )
User avatar
crispycreme
Mariner

 
Posts: 9620
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 4:48 pm
Location: California, at last
Top

Postby crispycreme » Sat Jun 29, 2002 3:24 am

BTW - Jallan:<BR><BR>I edited a post of yours from a few days back where you included a couple of web site links in your missive. I edited it because you had the mechanics slightly incorrect, and the links weren't active. I remedied that. <BR><BR>I had attempted to offer a demonstration of how to make it work, but I found it's quite impossible because any effort to do so actually creates a working link, doh! If you get a chance, go back to your post on the 23rd (I believe), click on 'edit', and see how I manipulated the link. You had the 'L' and the 'url' juxtaposed, if I recall correctly.<BR><BR>Sorry for the interruption! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif"border=0>
User avatar
crispycreme
Mariner

 
Posts: 9620
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 4:48 pm
Location: California, at last
Top

Postby Novice » Sat Jun 29, 2002 6:06 am

Crispy, I'm glad to see you here! Yippee! I thought you'd given us up for dead. Hope there are other lurkers who will join in with the next one.<BR><BR>See you back here on 1st July (well, not back here, back on the new section thread.....)<BR>
User avatar
Novice
Ranger of the North


 
Posts: 2791
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2002 5:19 pm
Top

Postby -Rómestámo- » Sat Jun 29, 2002 6:36 am

While a bit late to be introducing new material, I was reminded by Letter 75 (1944) of "The Silmarillion"'s debt to "The Kalevala".<BR><BR><i>I was looking at the Kalevala the other day... ...and I came across Runo XX, which I used to like: it deals largely with the origin of beer. When the fermentation was first managed, the beer was only in birch tubs and it foamed all over the place, and of course the heroes came and lapped it up, and got mightily drunk. <<Drunk was Ahti, drunk was Kauko, drunken was the ruddy rascal, with the Ale of Osmo's daughter...>> ...Poor old Finns and their queer language, they look like being scuppered. I wish I could have visited the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes before this war. Finnish nearly ruined my Hon. Mods., and was the original germ of the Silmarillion...</i><BR><BR>With that in mind, I posted a survey of the Finnish Mythos (at <BR><a target=new href="http://www.tolkienonline.com/thewhitecouncil/messageview.cfm?catid=23&threadid=50446"> "The Kalevala" and the Finnish Mythos</a> ). Within their pantheon, counterparts of some of the principal Valar can be found:<BR><i>Manwë - Ukko<BR>Ulmo - Ahto<BR>Oromë - Tapio<BR>Melkor - Hiisi<BR>Namo (Mandos)- Tuoni<BR>Irmo (Lorien)- Untamo<BR>Yavanna - Maaema<BR>Aulë - Ilmarinen</i>- a Hero-Smith like the Norse <i>Wayland</i> rather than a Deity.<BR><BR>Some of these correspondences are a little forced- <i>Untamo</i> god of Dreams, in his aspect of 'Indolence' hardly fits <i>Lorien</i>- others are extremely close, notably <i>Tapio</i>, god of Forests and the Hunt, with <i>Oromë Aldaron</i>, the 'Lord of Forests'. <i>Hiisi</i> within the <i>Kalevala</i> seems smaller scale and meaner in his evil than <i>Melkor</i>. <i>Tuoni</i> for <i>Mandos</i> seems a good fit- if you divorce him from his appearance, wife and family <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> . It is noteworthy that there are no prototypes for <i>Varda</i> or <i>Nienna</i> within the <i>Suomi</i> Pantheon. What is most striking is the euphonious nature of the names- they could almost be <i>Quenya</i>- and it is clear to see that the early inspiration for JRRT's language was Finnish.<BR><BR>Also in common with the <i>Ainulindalë</i> is Creation through Music/Song. In the second version of creation given in Runo XVII, 528-552. 'Väinämöinen and Antero Vipunen'. <BR><BR>Vipunen, a giant long dead, fills the role of the Ainur in this creation myth. The relevant passages (in the W. F. Kirby translation that JRRT owned) are:<BR><BR><i>He the sage so old in wisdom,<BR>In whose mouth was mighty magic,<BR>Power unbounded in his bosom,<BR>Opened then his mouth of wisdom,<BR>Of his spells the casket opened,<BR>sang his mighty spells of magic,<BR>Chanted forth of all the greatest,<BR>Magic songs of the Creation,<BR>From the very earliest ages,<BR>Songs that all the children sing not,<BR>Even heroes understand not,<BR>In these dreary days of evil,<BR>In the days that now are passing.<BR><b>Words of origin he chanted,<BR>All his spells he sang in order,<BR>At the will of the Creator,<BR>At behest of the Almighty,<BR>How himself the air he fashioned,<BR>And from air the water parted,<BR>And the earth was formed from water,<BR>And from earth all herbage sprouted.<BR>Then he sang the moon's creation,<BR>Likewise how the sun was fashioned,<BR>How the air was raised on pillars,<BR>How the stars were placed in heaven.</b><BR>Vipunen, in songs the wisest,<BR>Sang in part, and sang in fulness...</i><BR><BR>This version of creation, is possibly uniquely with the <i>Ainulindalë</i>, the only Myths where under instruction, the Creator's lieutenant(s) bring the world into being. (Can anybody think of any others?) It seems that the <i>Kalevala</i> served to spark JRRT's imagination.<BR><BR>With regard to the <i>Ainulindalë</i> (attributed to Rúmil in the Silmarillion index), JRRT comments in Letter 131 (prob.1951):<BR><i>The cycles begin with a cosmogonical myth: the <Music of the Ainur>. God and the Valar (or powers: Englished as gods) are revealed. These latter are as we should say angelic powers, whose function is to exercise delegated authority in their spheres (of rule and government, <not> creation, making or re-making) They are 'divine', that is, were originally 'outside' and existed 'before' the making of the world. Their power and wisdom is derived from their Knowledge of the cosmogonical drama, which they first perceived as a drama (that is as in a fashion we perceive a story composed by some-one else), and later as a 'reality'. On the side of mere narrative device, this is, of course, meant to provide beings of the same order of beauty, power and majesty as the 'gods' of higher mythology, which can yet be accepted- well, shall we say baldly, by a mind that believes in the Blessed Trinity.</i><BR><BR>This explains some of the contradictions inherent in their conception and actions (and in-actions<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> )throughout the <i>legendarium</i>: the Valar are hamstrung and need to recede into impotence before 'Historical' times and the introduction of Christ.<BR><BR>(edited to fix link)<BR>(edit: See following posts for rebuttal of Antero Vipunen as sub-creator theory.<BR><BR>For JRRT's own thoughts on 'The Flame Imperishable", see <a target=new href="http://www.tolkienonline.com/thewhitecouncil/messageview.cfm?catid=27&threadid=52910">'The Flame Imperishable' : JRRT's own thoughts</a> )<BR><BR>
User avatar
-Rómestámo-
Ranger of the North


 
Posts: 2947
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2002 9:54 am
Top

Postby scirocco » Sat Jun 29, 2002 8:00 am

Very interesting post, Romestamo, particularly your survey. Some of the names could fit right into Middle-Earth: (Ukko, Ilmatar, Allotar, Loviatar, Untamo). And yet there are plenty which to my untrained ear wouldn't sound right in Quenya; the very Scandinavian ones (Louhi, Koskenneiti, Vetehilien, Virokannas, Suomi, Juutas) and some which almost sound Hawaiian or Maori (Rauni, Kuu Tuoni, Mana, Kipu-Kivi). There's clearly been some filtering going on; Quenya doesn't seem to have included all types of Finnish sound elements.<BR><BR>We've been so busy this month trying to find deep meanings that we haven't spent a lot of (any?) time on the philological side of the works, very dear to Tolkien's heart and the root cause of his literary efforts. The Kalevala sparked him into seeking out a Finnish grammar, of which he later said:<BR><BR><i>It was like discovering a complete wine-cellar filled with bottles of an amazing wine of a kind and flavour never tasted before.</i><BR><BR>On another subject, Falborn asked the other day for the translation of "A Elbereth Gilthoniel"; happy to oblige; it was published in The Road Goes Ever On.<BR><BR>First the literal translation:<BR><BR><i>O Elbereth Star-kindler,(white) glittering slants-down<BR>sparkling like jewels from firmament glory [of] the star-host<BR>to-remote distance after-having-gazed from<BR>tree-tangled middle-lands, Fanuilos, to thee I will chant<BR>on this side of ocean here on this side of the Great Ocean.</i><BR><BR>Idiomatically:<BR><BR><i>O! Elbereth who lit the stars, from glittering crystal slanting falls with light like jewels from heaven on high the glory of the starry host. To lands remote I have looked afar, and now to thee, Fanuilos, bright spirit clothed in ever-white, I here will sing beyond the Sea, beyond the wide and sundering Sea. O! Queen who kindled star on star, white-robed from heaven gazing far, here overwhelmed in dread of Death I cry: O guard me, Elbereth!</i><BR><BR>Sam finds himself able to speak a variant of the invocation in Cirith Ungol:<BR><BR><i>Here beneath the horror of death, gazing afar to thee I cry:<BR>watch over me, Fanuilos!</i><BR><BR>Tolkien comments, a little bitterly, in a note following these translations:<BR><BR><i>Frodo and Sam both invoke her (Elbereth) in moments of extreme peril. The Elves sing hymns to her. (These and other references to religion in The Lord of the Rings are frequently overlooked.)</i><BR><BR>
User avatar
scirocco
Ranger of the North
 
Posts: 2103
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2000 6:12 am
Top

Postby Novice » Sat Jun 29, 2002 3:39 pm

Can add nothing to your wonderful preceding posts but am compelled from the heart to acknowledge your most appreciated contributions.<BR><BR>thanks guys! (I love the fact that you two are Aussies! ) <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR>
User avatar
Novice
Ranger of the North


 
Posts: 2791
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2002 5:19 pm
Top

Postby Falborn » Sat Jun 29, 2002 4:08 pm

Thanks so much for the translation, scirocco! As we were talking about visual images of the Valar it occured to me that an image of Varda might be embedded in that song/hymm. Thanks for the image and the Tolkien comment as well.<BR><BR>jallan, as usual I enjoyed your post and want to comment on one of your statements: "Tolkien Ainulindalë appears first in The Lost Tales material and was never much changed."<BR><BR>While some parts, particularly at the beginning of the Ainulidale changed very little, middle and later parts often changed quite a bit. <BR><BR>For example in "The Book of Lost Tales", page 55, Melkor is described as just one of the gods who entered into Arda along with the others:<BR><BR>"There Melko ruled both fires and the cruelest frost, both the uttermost colds and the deepest furnaces beneath the hills of flame; and whatso is violent or excessive, sudden or cruel, in the world is laid to his charge, and for the most part with justice."<BR><BR>In "The Silmarillion", page 20:<BR><BR>"...but Melkor too was there from the first and he meddled in all that was done, turning it if he might to his own desires and purposes; and he kindled great fires."<BR><BR>From "Myths Transformed" in "Morgoth's Ring", page 379,<BR><BR>"...Therefore the Valar avoided him, and began the building and ordering of Arda without him."<BR><BR><BR>Although the versions from the "Book of Lost Tales" and "The Silmarillion" are fairly close in meaning in this case, very often we will see big differences in the story between "The Book of Lost Tales" and the other versions. For example most of this passage appears in "Book of Lost Tales but not other versions:<BR><BR>"...Through him has pain and misery been made in the clash of overwhelming musics; and with confusion of sound have cruelty, and ravening, and loathly mire, and all putrescence of thought or thing, foul mists and violent flame, cold without mercy, been born, and death without hope. Yet this is through him and not by him; and he shall see, and all ye likewise, and even those beings, who must now dwell among his evil and endure through Melko misery and sorrow, terror and wickedness, declare in the end that it redoundedeth only to my great glory, and doth make the theme more worth the hearing, Life more worth the living..."
User avatar
Falborn
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2002 11:11 am
Top

Postby ArPharazon » Sun Jun 30, 2002 12:00 am

Strange to have an insight on the very last day of this discussion but I noticed something in Falborn's quote, that I had not seen before:<BR><BR><i>"There Melko ruled <b>both fires and the cruelest frost</b>, both the uttermost colds and the deepest furnaces beneath the hills of flame; and whatso is violent or excessive, sudden or cruel, in the world is laid to his charge, and for the most part with justice."</i><BR><BR>To control both the greatest heart AND the severest cold at the same time is a strange power.<BR><BR>Was JRRT thinking at that point that Melko[r] represented EXTREMES" do you think? Was he exploring the idea of what happens to any being if he follows a talent too far, without consideration or acknowledgement of god [morality?].<BR><BR>In a Christian context that fits in with the Fall - Adam and Eve disobeyed a limitation on what they could eat/know. What would man make of himself if he ignored all control - say (to use today's examples)in genetic engineering or the nuclear fields?<BR><BR>This is out of place I know, but I thought the notion one worth recording as I don't think it has been (directly at least) touched on before in this discussion.<BR>
User avatar
ArPharazon
Mariner

 
Posts: 6743
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 1:21 pm
Top

Postby scirocco » Sun Jun 30, 2002 7:09 am

Good point, Ar-Ph, and yet again (a recurring theme) some of what is evil or excessive is turned to good:<BR><BR><i>...neither had my secret thought conceived the snowflake, nor in all my music was contained the falling of the rain...</i><BR><BR>Falborn, there's an interesting point about the image of Varda in the poem. JRRT says that the phrase <i>to lands remote I have looked afar</i> (note deliberate past tense) refers specifically to the use of the palantir in the Elostirion tower on the Tower Hills, which was "locked" to look only to Eressea and the shores of Valinor. Apparently the High-Elves of Rivendell and Lorien would visit the Tower Hills occasionally to use the palantir (as it was "safe" to use, being locked, and presumably needing no special strength of will). The A Elbereth Gilthoniel hymn is therefore <i>one appropriate to Elves who have just returned from such a pilgrimage.</i>. (all from The Road Goes Ever On). Presumably, when Bilbo and Frodo heard it at Rivendell, a fresh group of pilgrims had just arrived back. What a beautiful image. <BR><BR>(Sorry, got a bit off-topic here, but presumably the Elves WOULD have been looking at Elbereth.)<BR><BR>Thanks for the compliment Novice, but Romestamo's post is the one worthy of praise, particularly the associated study. I have read a little of the Kalevala online, but the analysis of its gods was very useful to me.<BR>
User avatar
scirocco
Ranger of the North
 
Posts: 2103
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2000 6:12 am
Top

Postby jallan » Tue Jul 02, 2002 10:47 am

Rómestámo posted a passage from a translation of the <i>Kalevala</i> which he interpreted to indicate that Vupunen was the actual creator of the world, under the direction of the Almighty.<BR><BR>I don't think this interpretation can stand. I believe that the word "himself" refers to "the Almighty", not to Vipunen, in the lines:<BR><BR><<<BR>          Words of origin he chanted,<BR>          All his spells he sang in order,<BR>          At the will of the Creator,<BR>          At behest of the Almighty,<BR>          How himself the air he fashioned,<BR>          And from air the water parted,<BR>          ...<BR>>><BR><BR>Throughout the <i>Kalevala</i> songs of creation and orgins are sung, songs describing the origin of a particular thing, not usually songs bringing it into being. Such true descriptions of origins are themselves considered strong spells for helping to bring new things into being, such a Väinamöinen's boat, or of healing. I believe Antero Vipunen is singing such spell-songs that relate how ... at the will of the Creator, at behest of the Almighty, the Creator himself fashioned the air, parted water from air, and so forth. Antero Vipunen is not singing songs which originally performed the Creation, either sung by the Creator himself, or by Antero Vipunen.<BR><BR>I do not know Finnish myself. But check the unambiguous translation of this section of the <i>Kalevala</i> at <a target=new href="http://kalevala.gov.karelia.ru/songs/song17_e.shtml">Kalevala Runo 17</a>.<BR><BR>For the rest, Rómestámo's other comments seem to me to be accurate and judicious exposition of similarities and differences between the <i>Kalevala</i> gods and heroes and Valar and Maiar of Tolkien's legendarium.
User avatar
jallan
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 885
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2001 12:39 pm
Top

Postby -Rómestámo- » Tue Jul 02, 2002 3:23 pm

<b>jallan</b>: <i>Throughout the Kalevala songs of creation and orgins are sung, songs describing the origin of a particular thing, not usually songs bringing it into being.</i><BR><BR>No, if you refer to the singing contest between Joukahainen and Vainamoinen (Runo III, 283-476), the actual <i>song</i> is responsible for bringing the effects described into being. See <a target=new href="http://kalevala.gov.karelia.ru/songs/song3_e.shtml">The Contention</a> or <a target=new href="http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/kveng/kvrune03.htm">WAINAMOINEN AND YOUKAHAINEN</a><BR><BR>With regard to the passage I cited, comparing multiple translations (for another see: <a target=new href="http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/kveng/kvrune17.htm">WAINAMOINEN FINDS THE LOST-WORD</a> ), it is clear your interpretation is correct in that Vipunen is singing <u>how</u> <i>Ukko</i> created the world, rather than recounting what he himself had done. <BR><BR>One final parallel between the <i>Kalevala</i> and JRRT's legendarium is that the folk tales and Legends that were compiled (by Elias Lönnrot) into the <i>Kalevala</i> were consciously selected to show the Pagan world receding and being replaced by Christianity. While this is explicit in Lönnrot (he wrote <<"The end of Väinämöinen is peculiar. How incoherent and incomplete this poem might be, one can clearly see that it means the coming of the Christian doctrine and that the son probably was the Saviour himself, Marjatta being the Virgin Mary" >> ), it is implicit in JRRT- especially in HOME X.<BR><BR>(edited to eliminate unintended emoticon)
User avatar
-Rómestámo-
Ranger of the North


 
Posts: 2947
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2002 9:54 am
Top

Postby Fë@nor » Wed Jul 10, 2002 2:08 pm

Hello all, I have posted my intention of joining this discussion in that part, but my username was Feanor, which by mistake was allowed in while there was another user called that, So i changed my name to Fe@nor.<BR>I have one word to describe what i have seen. WOW.<BR>If I may be so bold, I would like to make a little comparison between the Ainulindale and the Greek Mythos.<BR>In the Ainulindale, there is the presence of a supreme being Eru which is the creator of all, while in Greek Mythology there is no "supreme being" per se, but a myriad of godesses who have different amount of power, if you will.<BR>In this case, I would say that the greek gods are the equivalent of the Valar, yet the main difference between them is that while the Valar are righteous, the greek godesses are subject to "human emotions", such as jealousy, hatred, etc.<BR>The Olimpus is the equivalent of Aman. Zeus or Jupiter would be the equivalent of Manwe, Mandos (Nano) would be the equivalent of Hades (Halls of Mandos = Hades "?"<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> and Poseidon or Neptune = Ulmo.<BR>The big difference is that while in the last version of JRRT, the Valar had no children, these greek gods did.<BR>Of course, there are not 2 children of the world, as in the case of JRRT with elves and men; yet there are creatures (mystical) such as the Kraken, unicorn, minotaur that one could relate to creatures both in Aman and ME.<BR>To me, the biggest difference between Greek Myth and the Ainulindale is that the one who revolted against the establisment of Gods (Zeus), he was the one that prevailed over his father Uranus and the Titans who were send to the Tartarus, while in Tolkien's wordl, the rebel (Melkor) is "evil" if you will and was at last defeated and didn't overthrow the Establishment of the Gods.<BR>Sorry if this is out of order.
User avatar
Fë@nor
Petitioner to the Council
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2002 9:54 am
Top

Postby jallan » Wed Jul 10, 2002 7:01 pm

Not at all out of order, Fë@nor, rather oddly no-one before you seems to have mentioned that Tolkien does not generally treat rebels kindly in his tales and very much puts forth rightful authority.<BR><BR>But the rightful authority may be wrong on occasion.
User avatar
jallan
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 885
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2001 12:39 pm
Top

PreviousNext

Return to Virtual Tolkien Study Group

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests