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

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Postby Master_Gurloes » Sat Jun 01, 2002 7:26 am

<b>This is simply a direct continuation of the first discussion thread. I've opened this new one as the first thread <a target=new href="http://www.tolkienonline.com/thewhitecouncil/messageview.cfm?catid=53&threadid=47950"><b>Section 1: 'Ainulindalë' and 'Valaquenta' Thread 1A (CLOSED)</b></a> has grown quite long. This is not designed to address a separate topic. Just keep posting as if this was the same thread. Here is a copy of the last post in the previous thread (from Novice) to keep the continuity going:</b><BR><BR>Novice posted:<BR>Jallan, thank you for the wonderful post comparing the classical pantheons; it has helped me (and others) very much and I hope this discussion continues.<BR><BR>Falborn: thanks for expanding your statement on free will; but if you are basing it on the quote "...they should have a virtue to shape their life, amid the powers and chances of the world, beyond the music of the Ainur, which is as fate to all things else..." then I could have to say that i understand it differently to you. IMO the music of the ainur is as fate to all things else, but not to its co-creators, who I feel are constrained to it only insofar as they respect their own creation and would not wish to marr it.<BR><BR>But the points that you bring up, that the free will of the ainur (and of all else) is constrained by virtue of their innate characteristics/gifts and by cultural and social constraints is something that I had not thought of, and I thank you for pointing it out. But in those terms, surely Men and Elves would have greater innate constraints on their free will, if only because they are also constrained by their physicality, and their incapacity to understand or live in a state of timelessness, whereas the Valar are not.<BR><BR>I can certainly see how Elves would be more closely bound to the Music than Men (you explained that beautifully), so I can extend that to a closer boundary on their free will also. But I can't see that the Valar are so tied; consider that they existed in timelessness before Ea (how can we measure how long? there was no time to be measured) and will exist again in timelessness after Ea. So, yes, they have an obligation to see out the music, but surely this is a very small blink within their experience of existence.<BR><BR>Falborn, you also asked: "Are there other montheistic faith traditions with similar Man-God relationships?" Do you mean with similar Man-God relationships as your own faith (ie direct relationship with no intermediary) or similar to that shown between the Elves/Eru? If the former, then I would say modern Judaism, in which there are absolutely no intermediaries bw God and (wo)man, not even priests (rabbis are considered 'teachers', not priests).<BR><BR>FaramirsDaughter said "Yes, I think it's true that Sam regarded the Valar as more "magical" than anything else, but surely Frodo and Bilbo took a more, shall we say "enlightened" view of things. " and others have put this point. Forgive me for diverting very briefly to LOTR to when Sam and Frodo were speaking on Cirith Ungol. Sam referred to Luthien and Beren and said something like (paraphrasing horribly)--the lady's glass contains some of the light of the Silmarils, that means we're holding something from those elder days, and the real stories never end-- Doesn't this mean he believed in those elder days and the Silmarils and all that implies?<BR><BR>And naias, I agree that we should be looking primarily at the Silm. But bringing in other texts can clarify and expand something that is not clear in the Silm...and what truehobbit said! I think we have been doing that although sometimes in our zeal we do follow some obscure trials <BR><BR>Someone asked a while back if we could pick up the discussion on the relationship bw the Valar, cf the Valar and the Eldar. I think the latter comparison will be more appropriate in the chapters where the Elves waken and contact is made, but as to the first point--<BR><BR>I asked earlier how the relationship bw Manwe/Varda differed from the rel/ship bw Manwe/Ulmo, or between Mandos/Lorien differed from that bw Mandos/Vaire. But really the nut of my question is what is the nature of the Valar spousal relationships? They are certainly not conjugal or erotic. Even though in earlier versions of the story there were offspring from some of these unions, that is not so in the Silm as we know it. I don't think other classical pantheons shed any light on this for they all (I think?) have gods with sexual/erotic characteristics. The Valar seem more ethereal than the classical gods. <BR><BR>So what is a 'spouse'? In conventional terms, a husband and wife, married by official or religious ceremony. Two people can be married and not have a sexual relationship and still be considered each others' 'spouse' by virtue of their official or sanctified relationship.<BR><BR>But as I see it, if the relationship between two people is not official (ie acknowledged by the law of the land) or sanctified (religious ceremony) in that way, then 'spouse' would imply the two people are cohabiting and have a sexual relationship. If they are co-habiting (ie sharing their habitation) and do not have a sexual relationship (ie they do not share a bed or each other's physicality in any way) then they are not spouses--they are housemates IMO. <BR><BR>So using the word 'spouse' in describing the relationship between Manwe/Varda redefines the word 'spouse'--or maybe refines 'spouse'. IMO spouse here would include concepts such as spiritual and emotional afinity, sharing, support and leaves aside any concept of physical sharing. This may be apt, as the Valar are in nature so much more than the flesh they wear when incarnate. But I'm still not sure how the relationship is different to the one between Manwe and Ulmo, who also worked in close harmony in the realisation of Arda.<BR><BR>It may be nit-picky speculation, but I have always found the idea intriguing. Does anyone else have thoughts on this?
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Postby Fingolfin_of_the_Noldor » Sat Jun 01, 2002 11:13 am

In regard to the new, post-valarindi, conceptualization of spouses Tolkien does explain this with a marginal note against the Annals of Aman typescript:<BR><BR><i>Note that "spose" meant only an "association." The Valar had no bodies, but could assume shapes. After the coming of the Eldar they most often used shapes of "human" form, though taller(not gigantic) and more magnificent. ~pg 69 Morgoth's Ring</i><BR><BR>In regard to the differences between these "associations" and other associations between the Valar it seems to me that these are sort of complimentary as with human marriages given differences in temper(and hence "sex" though not as we think of it) as opposed to other such associations such as in regard to origin and power(eg how Tolkien defines "brother" in regard to the Valar in letter 211). This passage which remained a relative constant through out the drafting phases of the Ainulindale, to me, provides primary basis for this supposition:<BR><BR><i>But when they clad themselves the Valar arrayed them in the form some as of male and some as of female; for that difference of temper they had even from their beginning, and it is but bodied forth in the choice of each, not made by the choice; even as with us male and female may be shown by the raiment, but is not made thereby. pg 15 Morgoths Ring</i><BR><BR>
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Postby Master_Gurloes » Sat Jun 01, 2002 11:17 am

<i>So using the word 'spouse' in describing the relationship between Manwe/Varda redefines the word 'spouse'--or maybe refines 'spouse'. </i><BR><BR>I'm not sure I agree that Tolkien's use of the term spouse <i>'leaves aside any concept of physical sharing'</i>. My own guess is that JRRT - always concious of the exact words he chose - would have chosen a different term if he had wanted to imply a relationship lacking 'sexuality'. It's hard to imagine the term 'spouse' excluding physical intimacy, even if the actual relationship was primarily an emotional and supportive one in practice.<BR><BR>As you point out, in the original conception of <i>Ainulindalë</i> Manwë and Varda have offspring, Fionwë-Úrion and Erinti (The Book of Lost Tales 1, page 62), although they did not survive into later versions. Why they did not persist, I don't know (I haven't read enough of HoME yet). Perhaps because this would imply a creative capacity which Tolkien wanted only Eru to retain? But, admittedly, if the concept of 'spouse' remained, the total absence of children then becomes surprising.<BR><BR>However, there is one fascinating (at least for me! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> ) sentence which survives into the published Sil, albeit in <i>Valaquenta</i>. <i>'Out of the deeps of Eä she [Varda] came to the aid of Manwë; for Melkor she knew from before the making of the Music <b>and rejected him</b>, and he hated her ,and feared her more than all others whom Eru made.'</i><BR><BR>Although it's not conclusive, I believe this implies Melkor made 'advances' towards Varda which were rejected. Much is made of her beauty, as well as her power. Melkor, as the most powerful of the Ainur, clearly felt that he was the most appropriate spouse for Varda. However, Varda obviously did not see it that way and spurned him, making the statement 'and he hated her' all the more poignant - for it is the hatred of a scorned suitor. I think that in this quote, perhaps, lies a vestige of the idea of fully spousal relationships between the Valar.<BR><BR><BR>N.B. This was posted before seeing Fingolfin_of_the_Noldor's post below.<BR><BR>
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Postby greenleafwood » Sat Jun 01, 2002 2:54 pm

I think the word "spouse" is used to describe a spiritual relationship rather than a conventional "marital" bond. The Valar shared their responsibilities and complemented one another. It would be like a kind of president and an assistant, both working towards a common goal but having at the same time, individual but relevant projects to work on. <BR><BR>The Valar had no bodies and only assumed their forms. It may have been pleasing to them to assume a male-female association. But Iluvatar did foresee his Children having genders, and I suppose the Valar then adopted this example, to set an example (?!?) to the Eldar?<BR>Which may also describe Melkor's behaviour, although coveting another's "spouse" would seem quite unlikely for the Elves!<BR><BR><BR>greenleaf
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Postby truehobbit » Sat Jun 01, 2002 3:41 pm

First: yes, starting this new thread is a good idea! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>About the idea of the spouse:<BR><BR>I think, at first I would have agreed to saying it just means "complementing one another".<BR><BR>But now, that M_G quotes Tolkien's earlier idea of having them have children, the idea of spouses might be derived from other mythologies, where gods regularly are husband and wife.<BR>We would then need to find out, in how far Tolkien later rejected this earlier idea: did he reject it completely or did he just decide to leave out the detail about their offspring?<BR><BR>As to sexual relationships among higher powers, here's this enlightening quote (one of my favourite passages <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> )from "Paradise Lost", Book 7, where Adam asks a lot of questions when the archangel Raphael comes to visit him<BR><BR>Love not the heav'nly Spirits, and how their Love <BR>Express they, by looks onely, or do they mix <BR>Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch? <BR><BR>To whom the Angel with a smile that glow'd <BR>Celestial rosie red, Love's proper hue, <BR>Answer'd. Let it suffice thee that thou know'st <BR>Us happie, and without Love no happiness. <BR>Whatever pure thou in the body enjoy'st <BR>(And pure thou wert created) we enjoy <BR>In eminence, and obstacle find none <BR>Of membrane, joynt, or limb, exclusive barrs: <BR>Easier then Air with Air, if Spirits embrace, <BR>Total they mix, Union of Pure with Pure <BR>Desiring; nor restrain'd conveyance need <BR>As Flesh to mix with Flesh, or Soul with Soul. <BR><BR><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> <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby Fingolfin_of_the_Noldor » Sat Jun 01, 2002 4:45 pm

truehobbit,<BR><BR><i>I think, at first I would have agreed to saying it just means "complementing one another".<BR><BR>But now, that M_G quotes Tolkien's earlier idea of having them have children, the idea of spouses might be derived from other mythologies, where gods regularly are husband and wife.</i><BR><BR>As have I. I took that into account and then looking at how Tolkien changed the concept exactly I extrapolated certain things based on how he described them during his post-lotr revisions. <BR><BR><i>We would then need to find out, in how far Tolkien later rejected this earlier idea: did he reject it completely or did he just decide to leave out the detail about their offspring?</i><BR><BR>This concept was totally rejected during Tolkien's post-lotr revisions. He removed all referrnces to "children" and even later on multiple occasions made reference the impossibility of reproduction among the Valar and Maiar. As such I considered Tolkien's writings in regard to the spouses and "sexes" of the Valar proceeding this and that was how I came to the conclusion, for myself, that these associations were a result of being complementary. <BR>Refer to my post above.<BR>
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Postby Master_Gurloes » Sat Jun 01, 2002 5:16 pm

<i>and I suppose the Valar then adopted this example [separate genders], to set an example (?!?) to the Eldar?</i><BR><BR>Yet the text says that the two separate genders were fundamental properties of the Ainur 'from the beginning'. Some Ainur <i>are</i> male and some Ainur <i>are</i> female, irrespective of how they choose to appear, and irrespective of whether or not they 'clothe themselves' in matter.<BR><BR>Although Eru is 'The One', it would appear that the first fundamental division is into male and female aspects 'of his thought'. Nature and spirituality would therefore appear to have this this first fundamental dichotomy. And since the entire <i>point</i> of the two genders is to generate something new by their re-union, I personally think that Tolkien's first idea (that the Valar had children, even if only understood metaphorically rather than physically/ sexually) is by far the more natural one. <BR><BR>His later idea that 'spouse' meant only an 'association' rings slightly hollow to me. He may have argued that 'The Valar had no bodies, but could assume shapes', but this seems to me to be no argument at all. Why give them two genders in the first place then? By this argument, two 'male' Valar can as easily have an 'association', and likewise two 'female' Valar. Although Tolkien would have certainly (I believe) dismissed any 'sexuality' from <i>this</i> idea.<BR><BR>As it is, he seems to ultimately strip <i>any</i> sense of what might be construed as 'sexuality' from the Valar as being too anthropomorphic. But what exactly is the nature of their 'male'/'female' division then? Perhaps we are to understand it that their fundamental division into two 'kinds' is a spiritual concept that we cannot understand, but is <i>reflected</i> or <i>mirrored</i> in nature by our own fundamental division which is sexual in nature? There is certainly an attraction and a pairing between the two kinds for the Ainur, as there is for us. But while our own division serves the purpose of generation/procreation, perhaps their own 'associations' may serve a 'higher' or different generative or creative purpose? This unwillingness to bring the spiritual or idealized down to the 'real world' would certainly fit with Tolkien's apparent impulse to see real male-female relationships in a very idealized way. Humphrey Carpenter hints at this in his Biography, and that this even applied to Tolkien's own marriage.<BR><BR> <BR><BR>
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Postby truehobbit » Sat Jun 01, 2002 5:36 pm

Thanks, Fingolfin, I think that information should settle it - it's meant to be "complementary".<BR><BR>Actually, I would have raised some doubts about this part of M_G's post, but didn't dare, really, because I assumed I'd probably be wrong here, not being a native speaker.<BR><BR><i>JRRT - always concious of the exact words he chose - would have chosen a different term if he had wanted to imply a relationship lacking 'sexuality'</i><BR><BR>Now, "spouse" seems to me to be a slightly cool, distanced-sounding, technical term, I mean, if you'd talk about someone's spouse you wouldn't get a picture of passionate love - or am I completely off the point here?<BR><BR>In fact, when you remember the time in which Tolkien wrote, the kind of society he felt a nostalgia about, and how careful he is in his other works about physical love, I think even Milton's charming "merging" of the angels would have been too much for him. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0><BR><BR><BR>M_G, you posted while I was still typing mine.<BR><BR>I think for Tolkien and his time (more than for us) there would have been male/female characteristics with which you might see complementation in a non-sexual way: You have the winds and the clouds in Manwe as a rather male characteristic - powerful, active and the female light/stars/beauty-representative in his partner, the hard matter of the earth in Aule and the plants and fruits represented in his partner.<BR>Each one half would not be as powerful without its counterpart - I very much like the part where Tolkien says that Manwe sees more when he is with her (her light probably piercing his clouds) and Varda hears more when she is with him (maybe because of his wind carrying the sounds).<BR>Male/female, then, might have been chosen as just a particularly beautiful way to express a rather general concept of complementation.
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Postby Novice » Sun Jun 02, 2002 2:37 am

truehobbit: "....Manwe sees more when he is with her (her light probably piercing his clouds) and Varda hears more when she is with him (maybe because of his wind carrying the sounds)." What a lovely revelation that is to me! Thank you! <BR><BR>Your paradise lost quote is very evocative but does not really answer how Tolkien saw the spousal relationships he created between the Valar. And I don't agree that Tolkien shied away from things sexual; later in the Silm we come to the story of Turin and the terrible incestuous relationship with his sister; and he also implies (much later) that Elrond's wife Celebrian is raped by orcs. During the long period he wrote and revised LOTR and Silm, many books such as Fountainhead were published which included graphic sexual passages. Tolkien could be quite brutal in his writings too, and we should not look at him in too sentimental a light. he was not an innocent, but a married man who had four children, openly affectionate with his children, friends and wife--I don't think it is a picture of a repressed or prudish man.<BR><BR>I agree with M_G, Tolkien's claim that 'spouse' meant only an 'association' rings hollow. The Valar appear 'stripped of any sense of sexuality' and seem more ethereal than the classical gods (of most cultures) which jallan so fully described in the 1A thread. I speculate that Tolkien came to this decision as a means of further disassociating his pantheon from the classical gods, who can come across as fairly lecherous in some cases.<BR><BR>I may be thoroughly misrepresenting Catholic beliefs here (please correct me), but I recall reading elsewhere about a strand of Catholic belief that human sexuality should be used solely for procreation in the wedded state and that sexual urges should otherwise be sublimated wherever possible to serve a 'higher' cause. If this is a correct representation of Catholic belief, then I would imagine Tolkien, as a very orthodox and traditional Catholic, would hold to this. There is a letter (sorry, no text handy for me to quote it at length) Tolkien sent to Christopher in which he speaks at length of humanity's fallen state and the implications of this on human sexuality. I seem to recall he speaks despairingly of people debasing the God-given gift of sexuality, and the need for men in particular to restrain themselves from damaging themselves and women in misusing their sexuality. What came through for me is that Tolkien idealized sexuality and the relationships between men and women. This would tie in with M_G's exposition above, of the spousal relationship bw the Valar being recreated as something 'higher' beyond the comprehension of humanity in its debased state.<BR><BR>M_G also speculated that "their fundamental division into two 'kinds' is a spiritual concept that we cannot understand, but is reflected or mirrored in nature..." This resonates for me. Maybe we can compare it the the yin-yang concept, which encompasses the idea of male/female being opposites yet complementary. Yin-yang also expresses that each nature includes a trace of its opposite in order to be complete ie the male nature includes a trace of female characteristics and vice versa.<BR><BR>I have also been fascinated with the quote M_G gave:<BR>"'Out of the deeps of Eä she [Varda] came to the aid of Manwë; for Melkor she knew from before the making of the Music and rejected him, and he hated her ,and feared her more than all others whom Eru made."<BR><BR>I was intending to bring up that same quote in terms of Melkor's fall, for I thought the passage pointed to Melkor 'going bad' before the Music even took place and Varda somehow saw the signs before anyone else (including Eru?). M_G' interpretation that Melkor may have made untoward advances to Varda gives the whole thing a new twist for me. If we look at it from that point of view, that in itself would indicate that something was not right in Melkor's 'psychology' before he revealed his rebelliousness in the Music.<BR>Very interesting! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> Thanks for the new perspective on it, M_G!<BR>
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Postby Alexandros » Sun Jun 02, 2002 5:13 am

I can hardly read all that!...<BR><BR>Tavish, thanks for clearing the Imperishable Flame question. I was a bit confused on that.<BR><BR>Parador: tell me about it!!.. I am completely lost in the discussions here...LOL..I'll come back later to read all this <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby jallan » Sun Jun 02, 2002 11:44 am

Though I cannot find references at the moment, I know that I have read some saints' lives and early Christian writings that refer to virgin marriages in which husband and wife remain celibate.<BR><BR>That this was the ideal marriage state is set forth in at least one medieval romance as well, the continuation to Chrétien de Toyes <i>Perceval</i> by Gerbert de Montreuil, written about 1226-30. In this account Perceval at last marries Blanchefleur of Belrepaire. In their wedding bed they decide together that because virginity is a superior state they will remain celibate. An angel then appears who praises their decision but commands them to cohibit because they are destined to have a son who will become the Swan Knight.<BR><BR>Perhaps others can find further references to virgin marriages.<BR><BR>From J.R.R. Tolkien, the "Ósanwe-kenta", {i]Note 5</i>:<BR><BR><<   Here Pengolodh adds a long note on the use of <i>hröar</i> by the Valar. In brief he says that though in origin a "self-arraying", it may tend to approach the state of "incarnation", especially with the lesser members of that order (the Maiar). "It is said that the longer and the more the same <i>hröa</i> is used, the greater is the bond of habit, and the less do the 'self-arrayed' desire to leave it. As raiment may soon cease to be adornment, and becomes (as is said in the tongues of both Elves and Men) a 'habit', a customary garb. Or if among Elves and Men it be worn to mitigate heat or cold, it soon makes the clad body less able to endure these things when naked". Pengolodh also cites the opinion that if a "spirit" (that is, one of those not embodied by creation) uses a <i>hröa</i> for the furtherance of its personal purposes, or (still more) for the enjoyment of bodily faculties, it finds it increasingly difficult to operate without the <i>hröa</i>. The things that are most binding are those that in the Incarnate have to do with the life of the hröa itself, its sustenance and its propagation. Thus eating and drinking are binding, but not the delight in beauty of sound or form. Most binding is begetting or conceiving.<BR>     "We do not know the <i>axani</i> (laws, rules, as primarily proceeding from Eru) that were laid down upon the Valar with particular reference to their state, but it seems clear that there was no <i>axan</i> against these things. Nonetheless it appears to be an <i>axan</i>, or maybe necessary consequence, that if they are done, then the spirit must dwell in the body that it used, and be under the same necessities as the Incarnate. The only case that is known in the histories of the Eldar is that of Melian who became the spouse of King Elu-thingol. This certainly was not evil or against the will of Eru, and though it led to sorrow, both Elves and Men were enriched.<BR>     'The great Valar do not do these things: they beget not, neither do they eat and drink, save at the high <i>asari</i>, in token of their lordship and indwelling of Arda, and for the blessing of the sustenance of the Children. Melkor alone of the Great became at last bound to a bodily form; but that was because of the use that he made of this in his purpose to become Lord of the Incarnate, and of the great evils that he did in the visible body. Also he had dissipated his native powers in the control of his agents and servants, so that he became in the end, in himself and without their support, a weakened thing, consumed by hate and unable to restore himself from the state into which he had fallen. Even his visible form he could no longer master, so that its hideousness could not any longer be masked, and it showed forth the evil of his mind. So it was also with even some of his greatest servants, as in these later days we see: they became wedded to the forms of their evil deeds, and if these bodies were taken from them or destroyed, they were nullified, until they had rebuilt a semblance of their former habitations, with which they could continue the evil courses in which they had become fixed". (Pengolodh here evidently refers to Sauron in particular, from whose arising he fled at last from Middle-earth. But the first destruction of the bodily form of Sauron was recorded in the histories of the Elder Days, in the <i>Lay of Leithian</i>.) >><BR><BR>Though the 'only case that is known in the histories of the Eldar is that of Melian', it is implied that other Maiar did these things which the great Valar did not, in which case one may assume there were also children of the Maiar. In other passages Tolkien will consider and reconsider possibities that Huan and the Eagles might have been Maiar.<BR><BR>When Tolkien writes the "great Valar" does he mean the Valar who are great, or does he mean the great Valar distinguished from the lesser Valar? If the latter, then Tolkien would only be speaking here of those in numbers among the Eight. If so then we might imagine that the couple Tulkas and Nessa and the couple Lórien and Estë did cohibit. But one might then expect children. Accordingly I don't think Tolkien intended this meaning.<BR><BR>As as been mentioned, Tolkien increasingly etherialized his Valar.<BR><BR>That there are fourteen Valar, seven male and seven female, plus Melkor is as a unique oddity of Tolkien's pantheon. The Greeks twelve Olympians, six male and six female, with Hestia replaced by Dionysos in later lists, given seven males and five females. If we were to add the rulers of the underworld, Hades / Pluto and Persephone / Proserpina to this list, we would get fourteen. Perhaps that is what Tolkien had in mind, though as I've previously indicated Tolkien does not draw on classical mythology particularly.<BR><BR>Another possibility is that the number seven, here seven males and seven females, seemed a reasonable <i>holy</i> number to use. It's original importance in many mythologies probably comes from the seven stars of the constellation of the Great Bear or Great Dipper which revolve around the center of the northern sky, combined with the observation of seven bodies in the sky that move differently from the stars: that is the sun, the moon, and the five visible planets. Seven can also be made to be of great importance in mystical theories of numbers.<BR><BR>(Robert Graves' listing of fourteen Titans in this <i>Greek Mythology</i> is, as far as I can tell, his own invention, putting together varying accounts to fit his own theories that the Titan's were gods of the days of the week. I don't believe any writings by Graves on this matter were early enough that they even <i>could</i> have influenced Tolkien.)<BR><BR>Tolkien's indication that Nine of the Valar were of chief power, known as the Aratar, is mentioned only here. Melkor counts as one, so when he is removed we have the Eight. The Egyptians had various groups of nine gods, called Enneads, some of which contained more or less than nine. Ah! Divine Mysteries! The best known was the Ennead of Heliopolis in which one of these nine was Seth, a god not much worshipped, the villain in the tales of Osiris, and so possibly to be equated with Melkor if we were to equated any god in the Egyptian pantheon with Melkor. The Greeks equated Seth with their mythological monster Typhon.<BR><BR>But the actual personages of the nine gods, Atum, Tefnut, Shu, Nut, Geb, Osiris, Isis, Seth, and Nephthys, cannot to be matched up with Tolkien's list.<BR><BR>The Etruscans also had a list of nine chief gods, as did the Sabines. See <a target=new href="http://www.bartleby.com/81/12105.html">Nine Gods</a>. Again, the lists cannot be equated with Tolkien's.<BR><BR>It is interesting that Tulkas is not included in Tolkien's list of the Nine, though he will afteward appear as Melkor's most feared adversary.<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby greenleafwood » Mon Jun 03, 2002 2:06 pm

good question about Tulkas being excluded from the Aratar, jallan. I always wondered at that, exactly what prerequisites did he not fulfill in order to be one? I would presume that Tulkas, symbolizing strength had a little more to "offer" than Orome the hunter.<BR>Still dwelling on the begetting of children among the Valar, how did Orome and Nessa become siblings, and Yavanna and Vana sisters as well? Some higher power must have "begotten" them, if Tolkien made this distinction.<BR><BR><BR>greenleaf
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Postby Fingolfin_of_the_Noldor » Mon Jun 03, 2002 3:15 pm

<i>Still dwelling on the begetting of children among the Valar, how did Orome and Nessa become siblings, and Yavanna and Vana sisters as well? Some higher power must have "begotten" them, if Tolkien made this distinction.</i><BR><BR>IN letter 212 Tolkien seems to define the "sibling" termed relationships among the Ainur as being relationships of origin and power.
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Postby Novice » Mon Jun 03, 2002 5:04 pm

On the first thread 1A someone (sorry, can't remember who, might have been truehobbit?) provided a very satisfying explanation of why some of the Valar are siblings.<BR><BR>All of the Ainur are brethren, having all sprung from the thought of Iluvatar and all having the same nature though of different 'order'--there's a hierarchy as we know.<BR><BR>But those of the Valar who arose from the same thought or area of mind of Iluvatar havea much closer association which can be seen as kinship. The feanturi, Mandos. Lorien and Nienna all deal with the spirit. Orome and Nessa are both of the waters, Yavanna and Vana both of the earth.<BR><BR>Thanks to whoever made this connection for me and sorry I can't remember who it was <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-blush.gif"border=0><BR><BR><BR><b>Erm......has the discussion stalled? Do we need a new kickstart?</b><BR><BR>
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Postby truehobbit » Mon Jun 03, 2002 6:30 pm

Oh, Novice, I'm afraid I have to pass on the honour to someone else. (I'm flattered, though!) <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> <BR>All I recall saying is the above about how they are coupled in such a way as to be complementary - quite like the yin/yang principle that you mentioned. <BR><BR>In a way, this is just what I tried to say: yin/yang or male/female, they are very similar concepts - only male/female has (to my mind) much more beauty and poetry.<BR><BR>You are quite right about Catholic views on sexuality: even in marriage it's only for procreation.<BR>And jallan is right in saying that there even once was an ideal of married chastity, which meant no sex even within marriage - but I think that concept died out sometime in the fifteenth century.<BR><BR>You're right, again, Novice, when you say there are sexual relationships in Tolkien's works - I was sweeping over too many things when I wrote that.<BR>What I still think, is that in Tolkien we find an attitude that is quite widespread, at least in stories, in the past, namely that sexuality is somehow associated with the "lower" orders of society. Higher up it doesn't seem an issue.<BR>Accordingly, in LOTR, Sam is allowed to have a large and happy family, while Aragorn has just the one son he needs. So, one might expect, as one goes even further up the ladder, that with the Valar sexual relationships are quite unthinkable.<BR><BR>"Erm......has the discussion stalled? Do we need a new kickstart?"<BR><BR>You're right, it's awfully quiet here (not that I'd mind having a break <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> ) - maybe they're all celebrating the Golden Jubilee in London? Or catching up on the reading. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Actually, all this theory about the Valar is quite difficult and, well, theoretic - so maybe we'd need to think of something more down-to-earth?<BR><BR>But then,<BR>we might just wait another day... <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Master_Gurloes » Mon Jun 03, 2002 7:43 pm

<i>Erm......has the discussion stalled? Do we need a new kickstart?</i><BR><BR>I think that the whole board has generally been a bit quiet over the week end and today. However, I think we have pretty much reached a natural break in our discussion.<BR><BR>I'd therefore like to open up the discussion to any subject (in Ainulindale and Valaquenta!) that people would like to raise. <BR><BR>In addition (in case of continuing quietness), I'd like to bring up a subject which (I think) has been underdiscussed so far: Olorin the Maia, who would eventually be incarnated as Gandalf. I love the idea of him walking among the first Elves as an invisible source of wisdom and encouragement, or in the form of an Elf himself. As he does not play a prominent part in the rest of The Sil, we may want to take this opportunity to explore how the information about Olorin from Valaquenta can add to our knowledge of Gandalf in LOTR. For example, is Olorin identical to Gandalf? What, if any, is the fundamental difference between Gandalf the White and Gandalf the Grey? What exactly was the sacrifice that he made by dieing in Moria? Where did Gandalf 'go' after the battle with the Balrog? And can Maia really die - what would have been his fate if he had not been returned as G the White? <BR><BR>Alternatively, feel free to now bring your own topics of interest.
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Postby Novice » Mon Jun 03, 2002 9:02 pm

Oh, yes! Let's discuss Olorin! I'm going to re-read that passage first though, and come back.<BR>
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Postby Percival » Mon Jun 03, 2002 9:28 pm

I think he would have turned to the Dark One's power because of the ring he whore, had Sauran gained the One.
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Postby naias » Mon Jun 03, 2002 9:57 pm

Novice I quote from a previous post of mine<BR>"All of the Ainur come from some specific part of Iluvatar's mind which make them "brethren", as would have been with immediate descentants of a man.<BR>The Feanturi are called "siblings" in order to emphasize their common "streak of personality", like siblings that look very much alike cause they take after their father.This possibly expresses also the fact that the Feanturi come from the same part of Iluvatar's mind and probably understand each other better.<BR><BR>"What differentiates a Valar spousal relationship from a Valar sibling relationship? What's the difference between Mandos/Varda and Mandos/Ulmo, who particulary are mentioned as having worked so closely together?"<BR><BR>What I like very much in this conception of relationships is this husband/spouse relationship.What deferentiates the spouses Ainur from the rest of their "brethren" is that they complement, support and even harness the power of their couple.<BR>"When Manwe there ascends his throne and looks forth, if Varda is besides him, he sees further than all other eyes, throygh mist, and through darkness, and over the league of the sea.And if Manwe is with her, Varda hears more clearly than all other ears the sound of voices that cry from east to west, from the hills and the valleys, and from the dark places that Melkor has made upon Earth".<BR>This notion that man and wife despite the fact that they come from different origins,and have different personalities complement each other and enhance each others potential so that together they may move forward in life is trully beautiful.<BR><BR>What I love about Tolkien is the way his personal feelings come in his writings as delicate brush strokes, that make a flat canvas become suddenly three dimentional."<BR><BR>Another thing I love about him is the way he loves and cares for words and how he makes think about them."siblings" and "spouses" he made us think of these words and the meaning they are burdened with.<BR><BR>Master Gurloes proposed "In addition (in case of continuing quietness), I'd like to bring up a subject which (I think) has been underdiscussed so far: Olorin the Maia, who would eventually be incarnated as Gandalf"<BR><BR>One of the most beautiful surprises when I first read the Sil(after having read LotR) was to find Gandalf in there.The idea that Gandalf was something more then just a Wizard, had been hinted by Treebeard, Galandriel, Aragorn and even by himself, but I don't think that anyone would have imagined his true nature.<BR><BR>So Gandalf a Maia...a God...a spirit " whose being also began before the World".And he is the wisest of them all...The idea is suddenly so comforting...to know that he had been in ME all the time, that he had supported and encouraged the Elves with "fair visions or the promptings of wisdom" and also the Humans "taking pity on their sorrows".<BR><BR>All seem to be falling in their right place now:Gandalf is Grey and this can be assosiated to the fact that he lives in Lorien with Este and Irmo. Este is Grey too, "the Healer of hurts and weariness" and Irmo is the "master of visions and dreams".All important traits of his personality can be explained this way.<BR><BR>But the most important of all is the pity and compassion and understanding that he shows to everyone even to Gollum and Saruman after his fall.He does not pass any judgement to them hinting it somehow that this is not for Man or even Maiar or Ainur to do.<BR>All this wisdom and understanding comes from his assosiation to Nienna,sister of the Feanturi.<BR><BR>Nienna, now, is the strongest statement on Tolkien's behalf that I get out Valaquenta.The way Tolkien puts together sorrow and mourning to produce pity and from then on wisdom and hope , is trully masterful.<BR>And it is so very true too...It is only through pain and suffering that our hearts mature and from that comes understanding of the others and through our compassion comes wisdom.A painful prossess for sure but we cannot really avoid it, since pain is a part of our lives.If it leads us, at least, to something higher the idea becomes very comforting and fulfilling.<BR><BR>Naias
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Postby Percival » Mon Jun 03, 2002 10:09 pm

That's so sweet.<BR><BR> But what amazes me about Tolkied is that he honestly portrays everyone as corruptable.<BR><BR> Boromir's attemp to wrest the Ring from Frodo. <BR> <BR> Gandalf was afraid to touch it. For it would have twisted him as well. <BR> <BR> Look at what happened to Saruman. ALl of us have those deep dark wells that shouldnt be opened like the mines of Moia.
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Postby Novice » Mon Jun 03, 2002 11:20 pm

naias, thanks for 'revealing' yourself and forgive my forgetfulness. There are so many insightful posts on this thread it's hard to keep track of which insightful post came from which insightful poster! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>I like the way you characterise Olorin; understanding sorrow and grieving and thereby finding pity. The flip side of this is that he can inspire hope--which makes me think of the wonderful thread ArPhy commenced in books in which he spoke of Gandalf being seen as the personification of Hope amongst the fellowship. This idea synchronises beautifully with this passage in The Silm, in the way he wakens the hearts of the Eldar amongst whom he walks unseen.<BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Fingolfin_of_the_Noldor » Tue Jun 04, 2002 12:45 pm

Novice, I was refering to the quote presented here:<BR><BR><i>In the cosmogonic myth Manwe is said to be "brother" of Melkor, that is they were coeval and equipotent in the mind of the Creator.</i><BR><BR>which was actually from letter 211 <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-blush.gif"border=0> (my bad <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0>} and believe is the only passage specifically defining a/the sibling relationship/s.
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Postby truehobbit » Tue Jun 04, 2002 12:52 pm

What I like best about Olorin is that "the wisest" is the one who has learnt "pity and patience".<BR><BR>Wisdom doesn't come with knowing facts or being able to create things (something that should be told to our modern scientists, I think) but with being able to understand how another person feels and to accept and tolerate their weaknesses!<BR><BR>That is also what Gandalf does. This is the more amiable because he is so powerful. The two, pity/patience and power, don't often go together. But it was obviously Tolkien's idea that they should.<BR><BR>Gandalf being originally a Maia makes his whole story with the Balrog believable for me.<BR>I don't think I understood it at first reading and thought his death and reappearance were a rather artificial - though welcome - contrivance. But as a Maia he wouldn't have been subject to any kind of physical death, because he wasn't a physical creature to begin with - is that correct?<BR><BR>One question that bothers me: When Tolkien created Gandalf's character for LOTR (at least by the time he had arrived at TTT) he probably thought he should be an immortal and looked back to his earlier ideas and remembered Olorin.<BR>But when he first thought up Olorin, was there anything like Gandalf in his mind?<BR><BR><BR>The quietness here - and on the whole board - is beginning to be a bit disturbing, isn't it? Well, I won't be back before Sunday, either.<BR>I used to be afraid of all the stuff I'd have to catch up on, then.<BR>But now, I really hope there'll be no end of posts for me to read next week. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby greenleafwood » Tue Jun 04, 2002 2:46 pm

Where did Gandalf go after the Battle with the Balrog?<BR>I have a feeling he went back temporarily to the Halls of Mandos. <BR>Whether a Maia can be killed as they are not quite physical, once Olorin took the form of Gandalf and went down to ME, he would have been suject to certain weaknesses, ME being the domain of Sauron. The Balrog was destroyed though, it being also Maia.<BR><BR><BR>greenleaf
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Postby greenleafwood » Tue Jun 04, 2002 2:48 pm

Where did Gandalf go after the Battle with the Balrog?<BR>I have a feeling he went back temporarily to the Halls of Mandos. <BR>Whether a Maia can be killed as they are not quite physical, once Olorin took the form of Gandalf and went down to ME, he would have been suject to certain weaknesses, ME being the domain of Sauron. The Balrog was destroyed though, it being also Maia.<BR><BR><BR>greenleaf
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Postby Novice » Tue Jun 04, 2002 7:24 pm

<BR>The point truehobbit picked up is most intriguing: When did Tolkien connect Olorin to Gandalf?<BR><BR>Gandalf was created off the cuff when he wrote The Hobbit; I recall that the name, Gandalf, has a direct source in Norse stories, Tolkien having borrowed the name from a dwarf in a northern tale. When he first gave the name to his rather comical wizard in The Hobbit, Tolkien had no idea of how the character would grow to become one of the wisest and most powerful characters of LOTR. Similarly I doubt Olorin had any connection to the Gandalf of The Hobbit.<BR><BR>Did Olorin exist in the earliest drafts of The Silm, or was he written into the later drafts only? At what point in the writing of LOTR did Tolkien decide that Gandalf was a maia, and actually the maia Olorin? Do the drafts point this out?<BR>
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Postby Master_Gurloes » Tue Jun 04, 2002 7:46 pm

<i>I have a feeling he went back temporarily to the Halls of Mandos.</i><BR><BR>That's pretty much what I thought before reading 'The Letters of JRR Tolkien' a number of years ago. In Letter 156, Tolkien makes it clear that it was the Valar who sent Gandalf the Grey (and the other Istari) in the first place, but they did not have a role in his reincarnation. Tolkien confirms that G genuinely died, but rather than returning to Valinor, he passed 'out of thought and time' and would appear to have been returned to the presence of Eru - the spiritual realm of the beginning of Ainulindale. Tolkien also confirms that this was due to the direct intervention of Eru (termed 'Authority' in this letter) because, with the loss of Gandalf in the face of Sauron's increasing power, the fate of M-E had become unacceptably precarious.<BR><BR>
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Postby Novice » Tue Jun 04, 2002 8:45 pm

M_G, you say "Tolkien confirms that G genuinely died" -- I've read that too, I'm not questioning it but it brings up some questions:<BR><BR><UL><BR><li> Can a maia really die? What does that actually mean?<BR><li> If a maia can die, can a Vala die too?<BR><li> Gandalf going to Eru implies he went outside time, and outside Ea, which breaks Eru fundamental rule that the Valar (and the maiar would be included in this) cannot leave Ea until the end, they are its life and it is theirs.<BR>
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Tue Jun 04, 2002 8:57 pm

Olórin first enters The Silmarillion in the 'Later Quenta Silmarillion (1)' from about 1951-2 and 1957 onwards (HoME X Morgoth's Ring). So his conception as Gandalf as <i>Olórin I was in my youth in the West that is forgotten,</i> in TTT comes first, before being written into the legends of the First Age.
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Tue Jun 04, 2002 9:24 pm

<i>Can a maia really die? What does that actually mean?<BR><BR>If a maia can die, can a Vala die too?<BR><BR>Gandalf going to Eru implies he went outside time, and outside Ea, which breaks Eru fundamental rule that the Valar (and the maiar would be included in this) cannot leave Ea until the end, they are its life and it is theirs.</i><BR><BR><strike>Without any textual Authority other than extrapolation from Letter 156, I consider Maia do not <i>die</i>, but can be <i>slain</i>. That is, they can be forced to leave the World of Time- if <i>they are its life and it is theirs</i>, losing their 'life' means losing Ea as well.<BR><BR>Could this happen to a Valar? I would say yes but with caveats. If the Valar was concentrated so that all its power was at a single locus, then I imagine it could be slain. Melkor, because his power was dispersed throughout Arda Marred, could not be forced to leave the World of Time without wreaking catastrophic destruction throughout Arda.<BR><BR>Any thoughts on these ideas? (Still a work in progress, not Holy Writ</strike> <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>)<BR><BR>Following much rumination: [reposted from <a href='messageview.cfm?catid=27&threadid=54050' target=_blank>Death of the Maiar: Melian, Sauron, Saruman and why Eru raised Gandalf the White.</a> in Books]My thinking on this subject has been crystalized recently by questions that arose in <a href='messageview.cfm?catid=27&threadid=51267' target=_blank> Question about White Wizard?</a>,<BR><a href='messageview.cfm?catid=27&threadid=53973' target=_blank>Gandalf vs. Balrog: Did Gandalf, in a sense, die?</a> and<BR><a href='messageview.cfm?catid=27&threadid=42807' target=_blank>"Naked I was sent back" </a>. <BR>This post is to organise my thoughts on this subject.<BR><BR>Throughout the <i>Legendarium</i>, there are numerous instances where a <i>Maia</i> is 'killed' (and one instance where a <i>Vala</i> is slain). The <i>Valaraukar</i> (Balrogs, with two in specific episodes given in some detail), Curumo (Saruman), Sauron (a special case) and Olórin (Gandalf). By 'killed', I mean slain in the same way that Elves, Dwarves and Men are 'killed': their immortal, indestructible 'soul' or 'spirit' (<i>eäla</i> (plural <i>eälar</i>) for Natural discarnates such as the <i>Ainur</i>, <i>fëa</i> (plural <i>fëar</i> for Elves and Men)) and body (<i>hröa</i>) have been separated by violence.<BR><BR>The <i>Ainur</i>, both <i>Valar</i> and <i>Maiar</i>, can adopt material forms at will. The Valaquenta says :<UL>'Then those of the <i>Ainur</i> who desired it arose and entered into the World at the beginning of Time; and it was their task to achieve it, and by their labours to fulfill the vision which they had seen. Long they laboured in the regions of Ëa, which are vast beyond the thought of Elves and Men, until in the time appointed was made Arda, the Kingdom of Earth. Then they put on the raiment of Earth and descended into it, and dwelt therein.'</UL> So the <i>Ainur</i> can self incarnate. This uses some of the power or energy of the <i>Ainu</i>, as shown by <b>Letter 200</b>, (1957), where JRRT discusses the final downfall of Sauron:<UL>[...] It was because of this pre-occupation with the Children of God that the spirits [The <i>Ainur</i>] so often took the form and likeness of the Children, especially after their appearance. It was thus that Sauron appeared in this shape. It is mythologically supposed that when this shape was 'real', that is a physical actuality in the physical world and not a vision transferred from mind to mind, it took some time to build up. It was then destructible like other physical organisms. But that of course did not destroy the spirit, nor dismiss it from the world to which it was bound until the end. After the battle with Gilgalad [sic] and Elendil, Sauron took a long while to re-build, longer than he had done after the downfall of Númenor (I suppose because each building-up used up some of the inherent energy of the spirit, which might be called the 'will' or the effective link between the indestructible mind and being and the realization of its imagination). The impossibility of re-building after the destruction of the Ring, is sufficiently clear 'mythologically' in the present book.' <BR><BR>[<i>The Lord of the Rings</i>, specifically "The Last Debate" in <i>The Return of the King</i>:<UL><BR>'If it [The Ring] is destroyed, then he will fall; and his fall will be so low that none can foresee his arising ever again. For he will lose the best part of the strength that was native to him in his beginning, and all that was made or begun with that power will crumble, and he will be maimed for ever, becoming a mere spirit of malice that gnaws itself in the shadows, but cannot again grow or take shape.']</UL></UL>Implicitly, there is a difference between voluntary changes of form and being forcibly evicted as it were. Voluntary changes (such as Melian forsaking her shape in order to return to Valinor, or the Protean changes of Wolf-Sauron (See below)) conserve the innate energy of the <i>Maia</i>, forced changes (including 'being slain' ) dissipate this energy which is then lost to the <i>Maia</i>. <BR><BR>In HOME X '<i>Morgoth's Ring'</i>, Text <b>VII</b> of 'Myths Transformed', JRRT writes:<UL>[...] The Elves certainly held and taught that <i>fëar</i> or 'spirits' may grow of their own life (independently of the body), even as they may be hurt and healed, be diminished and renewed. [<i>The following was added marginally after the page was written:</i> If they do not sink below a certain level. Since no <i>fëa</i> can be annihilated, reduced to zero or not-existing, it is no[t] clear what is meant. Thus Sauron was <i>said</i> to have fallen below the point of ever recovering, though he had previously recovered. What is probably meant is that a 'wicked' spirit becomes fixed in a certain desire or ambition, and if it cannot repent then this desire becomes virtually its whole being. But the desire may be wholly beyond the weakness it has fallen to, and it will then be unable to withdraw its attention from the unobtainable desire, even to attend to itself. It will then remain for ever in impotent desire or memory of desire.]</UL>Sauron is a special case. In the First Age, he is as vulnerable as any other <i>Maia</i>. <UL>[...] There befell the battle of Huan and Wolf-Sauron, and the howls and baying echoed in the hills, and the watchers on the walls of Ered Wethrin across the valley heard it afar and were dismayed.<BR><BR>But no wizardry nor spell, neither fang nor venom, nor devil's art nor beast-strength, could overthrow Huan of Valinor; and he took his foe by the throat and pinned him down. Then Sauron shifted shape, from wolf to serpent, and from monster to his own accustomed form; but he could not elude the grip of Huan without forsaking his body utterly. Ere his foul spirit left its dark house, Lúthien came to him, and said that he should be stripped of his raiment of flesh, and his ghost be sent quaking back to Morgoth; and she said: 'There everlastingly thy naked self shall endure the torment of his scorn, pierced by his eyes, unless thou yield to me the mastery of thy tower.'<BR><BR>Then Sauron yielded himself, and Lúthien took the mastery of the isle and all that was there; and Huan released him. <BR><BR>'Of Beren and Lúthien', <i>Quenta Silmarillion</i></UL>So if Sauron was slain by Huan, his houseless spirit would be subject to the scorn of Morgoth, apparently no longer able to resume incarnate existence.<BR><BR>However, after the forging of the One Ring much of his native power was imbued into the Ring- so his banishment from physical form after the Downfall of Númenor only diminishes him slightly. He re-embodies himself - and instead of the many years (2060 years before <i>The Wise fear that it</i> [The Power in Dol Guldur] <i>may be Sauron taking shape again.</i>) required to 'take shape' after his second fall (without access to the power stored in the Ring), he is back in control in Mordor the year after the drowning of Númenor. <BR><BR>[Edit: The first mentions of the stirring of Sauron occur in Third Age <b>1050</b> [...]<i>About this time a shadow falls on Greenwood, and men begin to call it Mirkwood.</i>[...] and <b>c. 1100</b> <i>The Wise (the Istari and the chief Eldar) discover that an evil power has made a stronghold at Dol Guldur. It is thought to be one of the Nazgûl.</i> Still a much longer time than his return after Númenor, although not as long as I first implied.]<BR><BR>After the melting of the Ring- and the destruction of that <i>best part</i> of him that he had placed within it- Sauron is reduced to an impotent spirit in the shadows, never able to take shape again. <BR><BR>Olórin (Gandalf) is another exception to the general case of discarnate, slain (but repentant) <i>Maiar</i>. Instead of slowly 'healing' his dis-embodied spirit, a process of slow accumulation of energy before eventual re-creation of an incarnate form, he was the beneficiary of Divine Intervention.<UL>He was sent by a mere prudent plan of the angelic Valar or governors; but Authority had taken up this plan and enlarged it, at the moment of its failure. 'Naked I was sent back - for a brief time, until my task is done'. Sent back by whom, and whence? Not by the 'gods' whose business is only with this embodied world and its time; for he passed 'out of thought and time'.<BR><BR>excerpt from <b>Letter 156</b>, (1954), <i>The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien</i></UL>Eru takes Gandalf's spirit from within Eä to <i>out of thought and time</i> - Ilúvatar's 'Timeless Halls'. There he <i>'...wandered far on roads that I will not tell.'</i> After an indeterminate period, he was 'sent back', re-embodied, and thus subject to the cares and woes of incarnate existence, but with fewer limitations on his innate knowledge and power than in his previous incarnation. So Olórin as Gandalf the White was wiser and more powerful than when Gandalf the Grey. <b>Without this twofold intervention</b>‡<b> of Ilúvatar it may have taken Olórin years, if not centuries, to re-accumulate enough energy to re-create an incarnate form.</b> <BR><BR>[<b>‡</b>Removing Olórin's spirit from within Eä to which it would otherwise have been bound to the end; & returning Olórin's spirit into an incarnate body back in Eä as Gandalf the White.]<BR><BR>Presumably the fates of the Balrogs and Curumo (Saruman) after his murder are that of Sauron after his final defeat, spirits that <i>cannot again grow or take shape.</i> . <BR><BR>And the Valar who was slain? <BR>The fate of Melkor is: <UL>Morgoth was thus actually <i>made captive in physical form</i><b>‡</b>, and in that form taken as a mere criminal to Aman and delivered to Námo Mandos as judge - and executioner. He was judged, and eventually taken out of the Blessed Realm and <i>executed</i>: that is <i>killed</i> like one of the Incarnates. It was then made plain (though it must have been understood beforehand by Manwë and Námo) that, though he had 'disseminated' his power (his evil and possessive and rebellious will) far and wide into the matter of Arda, he had lost direct control of this, and all that 'he', as a surviving remnant of integral being, retained as 'himself' and under control was the terribly shrunken and reduced spirit that inhabited his self-imposed (but now beloved) body. When that body was destroyed he was weak and utterly 'houseless', and for that time at a loss and 'unanchored' as it were. We read that he was then thrust out into the Void.<b>†</b> That should mean that he was put outside Time and Space, outside Ëa altogether; but if that were so this would imply a direct intervention of Eru (with or without supplication of the Valar). It may however refer inaccurately<b>¶</b> to the extrusion or flight of his spirit from Arda.<BR><BR>In any case, in seeking to absorb or rather to infiltrate himself throughout 'matter', what was then left of him was no longer powerful enough to reclothe itself. [...] At least it could not <i>yet</i> reclothe itself. [...] The dark spirit of Melkor's 'remainder' might be expected, therefore, eventually and after long ages to increase again, even (as some held) to draw back into itself some of its formerly dissipated power. It would do this (even if Sauron could not) because of its relative greatness. It did not repent, or turn finally away from its obsession, but retained still relics of wisdom, so that it could still seek its object indirectly, and not merely blindly. It would rest, seek to heal itself, distract itself by other thoughts and desires and devices - but all simply to recover enough strength to return to the attack on the Valar, and to its old obsession. As it grew again it would become, as it were, a dark shadow, brooding on the confines of Arda, and yearning towards it.<pre> -------------------------</pre><UL><b>‡</b>[As, of course, had happened to Melkor long before, after the sack of Utumno.]<BR><BR><b>†</b>[Cf. the conclusion of QS (V. 332, §29): 'But Morgoth himself the Gods thrust through the Door of Night into the Timeless Void, beyond the Walls of the World'.]<BR><BR><b>¶</b>[[<i>footnote to the text</i>] Since the minds of Men (and even of the Elves) were inclined to confuse the 'Void', as a conception of the state of Not-being, outside Creation or Ëa, with the conception of vast <i>spaces</i> within Ëa, especially those conceived to lie all about the enisled 'Kingdom of Arda' (which we should probably call the Solar System).]</UL><pre> -------------------------</pre><BR><i>Morgoth's Ring</i>, 'Myths Transformed' Text <b>VII</b>, (Page 403-4).</UL>I think this presents a logical and self consistent overview of the fates of the slain <i>Maiar</i> within the <i>Legendarium</i>; and what the effect of the non-intervention of Eru in Gandalf's case would have been - I would welcome any comments, criticisms and/or corrections.<BR><BR>[Edit to strike earlier (superceded) ideas and add current thoughts]
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