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

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Postby Falborn » Sat Jun 15, 2002 3:21 pm

Fingolfin, how is Tolkien's statement about seeing the future reconciled with Galadriel's mirror. Is she using it to reflect her own wisdom about the future?
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Postby Fingolfin_of_the_Noldor » Sat Jun 15, 2002 4:15 pm

Possibly, I do believe there is reference to the mirror not always being correct. There is also the possibility of direct involvement at times by the Valar or Eru.
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Postby Novice » Sat Jun 15, 2002 7:56 pm

As I recall, the mirror can be directed, or it can show things unbidden; it can show the present, past or future and seems to have a mind of its own, as the implication is that the visions of the future may not come to be unless one "turns aside from one's path".....tricky, very tricky--esp when compared with the view that the Music is a given.<BR><BR>A tangled web, just like real life!<BR>
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Postby ArPharazon » Sun Jun 16, 2002 12:13 am

I don't think we should get too deeply into Galadriel's mirror.<BR><BR>In my view it was a plot device introduced by JRRT into LOTR, which he could not then explain in rational terms. So he hedged his bets - usual way for him, post hoc rationalisation in a clever way.<BR><BR>I doubt anything clear will come out of an examination of Galadriel's mirror!! (Pun intended!)
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Postby Master_Gurloes » Sun Jun 16, 2002 12:27 am

Just a quick post to say I'm folowing the discussion with great interst, but can't participate too much at the moment - I'm stuck in a hotel in downtown L.A., thousands of miles from my compter, with only WebTV access (on which this small post seems to be a minor miracle!)<BR><BR>I'll be back in circulation next Thursday, but until then if any 'moderation' is required I'llhave to leave it up to you guys.<BR><BR>I'm missing being able to catch up and participate more regularly, but at least in L.A. I'm closer to the TORC servers than I've ever been (like Mecca to all true Tolkien fans! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> )<BR>
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Postby Fingolfin_of_the_Noldor » Sun Jun 16, 2002 4:55 am

<i>So he hedged his bets - usual way for him, post hoc rationalisation in a clever way.</i><BR><BR>The writing published in Vinyar Tengwar has nothing to do with Galadriel's mirror it is just a general excursus on the philosophy of communication direct between minds and in this note on the the philosophy of foresite this is NOT a rationalization of any sort and is in no way an emendation.
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Postby ArPharazon » Sun Jun 16, 2002 5:26 am

Fingolfin <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> Can you explain to me WHY? you are so hot to defend the later writings at all costs. <BR><BR>In my view it's a pretty untenable position, but I know you would disagree. But that said, you defend the later writings with an almost religious fervour. I simply don't understand that.<BR><BR>I don't, of course, question your right to do so, but where did this (what seems to a casual oberver like me) "obsession" originate.<BR><BR>I don't by any means mean to be insulting - I am genuinely interested.
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Postby Fingolfin_of_the_Noldor » Sun Jun 16, 2002 5:44 am

<i>Fingolfin Can you explain to me WHY? you are so hot to defend the later writings at all costs. </i><BR><BR>Well can you explain to me why to tend to immediately catagorize them in a negative light even when you lack sufficient foundation or at least provide little. I am fine with someone taking issue with the later writings but I think a little support should be given as generaliations based on personal supposition and put forth as fact to my mind cannot be immedialtey accepted as such.<BR><BR>I generally take the later writtings as the best as they, to my mind, comprise the most complete, accurate and well-thought out writings: I have provided ample evidence for this this on the top of the previous page based on Tolkien's own stances as well as his son's. <BR><BR>Further, I feel, this is what Tolkien no doubt would have wanted as GIVEN HIS OWN WORDS it seems the silmarillion traditions were nearing partial completion (though other responsibilities and personal circumstances such as his mother's illness took him away from his work). Tolkien explains why the post-lotr work was so important and CT supports this based on his own analysis of the work.<BR><BR>If we retreat from the final form the traditions took then we retreat into a time racked with inconsistancy and full of anti-canonical concepts. Should we retreat to the World War One era writtings as the ultimate "prime"?
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Postby Falborn » Sun Jun 16, 2002 6:15 am

Since the study group opened I have been reading back and forth between The Book of Lost Tales, The Silmarillion and Morgoth's Ring. Based on my own personal judgements and observations I would say that his later writing is better. I honestly don't understand why some of the posts are denigrating his later work.<BR><BR>A question about the subject at hand: There are several indications that the Ainur dissipated their powers as they (sub) created Arda; we alson see evidence that after Arda was ready they withdrew to Aman and became (apparantly) less active in the world. Can we conclude that they were far stronger in their begining and are much less active in ME by the time of the awakening of the children because they have less potency?<BR><BR>It's also interesting to see how much of their native power it takes for them to be and remain incarnate (am I right in saying this?). By the time Melkor makes it back to Thangoradrim he has lost the ability to go back to disincarnate 'form' (Yet overthrowing him in his fortress 600 years or so later destroys Beleriand). This would imply that Men and Elves have stronger natural spirits, relative to the Ainur, than I had previously thought, because we are so utterly incarnate, even to the point of having powers of reproduction.<BR><BR>
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Postby Preacherdude » Sun Jun 16, 2002 3:47 pm

Master_Gurloes, this thread is very impressive. Its helping me understand the Sil better (even though I am not finished).<BR>
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Postby jallan » Sun Jun 16, 2002 5:07 pm

ArPharazon posted:<BR><BR><< Our conclusion in this thread may have to be - I fear - Don't look for consistancy where the literary or mythological use of the valar in the story is concerned. Just accept them as there!! >><BR><BR>I think we can do nothing else for much of Tolkien's <i>Silmarillion</i> material. Real mythology is equally inconsistant about the powers of its deities, and Tolkien started by attempting to produce an imitation of genuine mythology, but one without a strong religious element, close in some ways to Irish mythology as it has come down to us from a time when they are still believed in as spirits but no longer worshipped.<BR><BR>But the Tuatha Dé Danaan of Irish tales live mostly in an "other world", parallel to our own, rather than beyond the sea, though Irish tales also speak much of lands of blessed immortals in the western sea where some immortals dwell, especially Mannanan son of Lir.<BR><BR>Some Maiar, Tolkien tells us, took the form of beasts or plants, for example Oromë's horse Nahar, who it seems could not speak, or at least did not do so.<BR><BR>Greek mythology also knows of immortal steeds of the gods, some of them sprung from gods. Pegasos was the son of Poseidon and Medusa and the horse Arion was the son of Poseidon and Demeter. In Norse myth Óðin's steed Sleipner was the son of the god or giant Loki after he took the form of a mare and coupled with the giant steed Svadilfari. Loki also fathered on the witch Angerboda the giant wolf Fenris and the giant serpent Jörmungandr.<BR><BR>To look too closely into the suppositions of such tales may be to destroy them. I don't believe Tolkien did look closely in his early writing. In <i>Morgoth's Ring</i> (HoME 10), "Myths Transformed", VIII, <i>Orcs</i>, Tolkien notes:<BR><BR><< What of talking beasts and birds with reasoning and speech? These have been rather lightly adopted from less 'serious' mythologies, but play a part which cannot now be excised. >> <BR><BR>Tolkien continues with suggestions to explain these but seems not happy with any of the possilibities he comes up with. From <i>Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien</i>, letter 153:<BR><BR><< I am not sure about Trolls. I think they are mere 'counterfeits', and hence (though here I am of course only using elements of old barbarous mythmaking that had no 'aware' metaphysic) they return to mere stone images when not in the dark. >><BR><BR>I very much like the phrase <i>no 'aware' metaphysic</i>.<BR><BR>It was only after Tolkien had finished <i>The Lord of the Rings</i>, where Frodo had speculated that the Enemy could not truly create life that Tolkien changed the account of the origin of the Balrogs to what we now find in the "Valaquenta". In Tolkien's earlier writings the Balrogs were indeed <i>made</i> by Melkor, though possibly Tolkien was then thinking only of their physical forms, not of the origin of their spirits. More likely he was not thinking at all of such matters, one way or the other.<BR><BR>But after writing down Frodo's speculation Tolkien had to specify otherwise, and so the published "Valaquenta" explains that the Balrogs are in origin Maiar.<BR><BR>As to early Tolkien, in <i>The Book of Lost Tales</i> (HoME 1), chapter II, "The Coming of the Valar", we find:<BR><BR><<     With them came many of those lesser Vali who loved them and had played nigh them and attuned their music to theirs, and these are the Mánir and the Súruli, the sylphs of the air and of the winds.<BR>     ....<BR>     ... About them fared a great host who are the sprites of trees and woods, of dale and forest and mountain-side, or those that sing amid the grass at morning and chant among the standing corn at eve. These are the Nermir and the Tavari, Nandini and Orossi, brownies, fays, pixies, leprawns, and what else are they not called, for their number is very great: yet must they not be confused with the Eldar, for they were born before the world and are older than its oldest, and are not of it, but laught at it much, for had they not somewhat do do with its making, so that it is for the most part a play for them; but the Eldar are of the world and love it with a great and burning love, and are wistful in all their happiness for that reason. >><BR><BR>Compare this explosion of invented names and names from genuine folklore with the corresponding material from the "Valaquenta":<BR><BR><< With the Valar came other spirits whose being also began before the World, of the same order as the Valar but of less degree. These are the Maiar, the people of the Valar, and their servants and helpers. Their number is not known to the Elves, and few have names in any of the tongues of the Children of Ilúvatar; for though it is otherwise in Aman, in Middle-earth the Maiar have seldom appeared in form visible to Elves and Men. >><BR><BR>Here the prose is precise but staid, lacking in vigor and quite unsensuous. The interest is more in explaining than in vivid telling. The lesser spirits had indded not much appeared in Tolkien's early writings, and Tolkien here is interested in partly explaining why. Yet the supposed explanation doesn't explain much. Why have Maiar seldom appeared in Middle-earth in form visible to Elves and Men?<BR><BR>Of course Tolkien had already written the first passage, and need not do so again in the "Quenta Silmarillion" which had begun as a summary of his legendarium, as revised again and again, originally created to set forth clearly the background for his poem "The Lay of Leithien".<BR><BR>If Tolkien could only get the background details right, properly establish <i>an "aware" metaphysic</i> and coherent set of motivations then the original tales could be revised to fit in their full length. Unfortunately Tolkien could not do this with his summary.<BR><BR>The late material is often very tentative and speculative. Again and again Tolkien comes back to the problem of whether Orcs have immortal souls. If the cosmology of Moon and Sun from fruit and flower cannot be taken literally, how can it be taken? Is there indeed any benefit to the light of Eärendil's star if that light is not the sparkling of Silmaril glowing from its own power, but instead the reflected light of the Sun on the cloudy atmosphere of the planet Venus?<BR><BR>Tolkien's late writings give us his honest thoughts, but sometimes they are thoughts that if followed through would destroy his legendarium, at in much of its symbolic underpinings. But they can't be ignored.<BR><BR>Falborn posted:<BR><BR><< This would imply that Men and Elves have stronger natural spirits, relative to the Ainur, than I had previously thought, because we are so utterly incarnate, even to the point of having powers of reproduction. >><BR><BR>I think not. Presumably the Valar could have reproduced, but chose not to copulate. However at least one Maia did reproduce, that is Melian, and Tolkien also speculates that the Eagles and those Orcs who were Maiar in physical form may have reproduced.<BR><BR>It would seem that Tom Bombadil and Goldberry did not have children, so far as we know, which may also arise from Tolkien here not employing <i>an "aware" metaphysic</i> in respect to Roman Catholic teachings that the purpose of sexual activity is only procreation and its practise for pleasure alone is a sin.<BR><BR>Taking a story too seriously can destroy it.<BR><BR>Also, the Istari, though incarnate in specially weakened forms of human kind remained more powerful than most natural incarnates. From <i>Morgoth's Ring</i> (HoME 10), "Myths Transformed", VIII, <i>Orcs</i>, about spirits corrupted by Sauron:<BR><BR><< The least could have been primitive (and much more powerful and perilous) Orcs; but when practising when emobodied procreation they would (cf. Melian) [become] more and more earthbound,unable to return to spirit-state (even demon-form), until released by death (killing), and they would dwindle in force. >><BR><BR>Earth-bound these spirits might become, and they would dwindle in force, but this loss of power comes about because of their incarnation, not because they were less powerful natively than natural incarnates. Even the least of them, Tolkien indicates, would have been "much more powerful and perilous" in the beginning as compared to Orcs who were natural incarnates.
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Postby Fingolfin_of_the_Noldor » Sun Jun 16, 2002 5:36 pm

<i>Tolkien's late writings give us his honest thoughts, but sometimes they are thoughts that if followed through would destroy his legendarium, at in much of its symbolic underpinings. But they can't be ignored.<BR></i><BR><BR>Aye but really only in the case of the round-earth version(and perhaps aduniac) initial surgery which it seems, as discussed previously in the books forum, was abondoned by Tolkien given CT's own conclusions as well as Tolkien's notes as he probably realized that such radical changing would not be tenible given how interconnected the legendarium had become. That said, there are many concept Tolkien toyed with some more so than others and subsequently abandoned.<BR><BR>In regard to orcs in Tolkien's never actually set down anything as fact as he does in other late writings his essays were speculative and were meant to be. He even in his final aknowledges the problems inherent given the chronology and hence by extension the untenibility of a soley orc origin theoy notwithstanding his possible/probable plans.<BR><BR><i>The late material is often very tentative and speculative. </i><BR><BR>Yes, and that which is is generally presented as such as Tolkien refined the mythology and played with various concepts. Given this the late material must be taken in it's proper context and hence not all accepted and further not all rejected. If a specific text is felt to be questionible then, I think, arguments with support should be made not, on the flip side, blind rejection. The majority of the late writings I have found NOT to be akin to such things.<BR><BR>------------<BR><BR><i>Tolkien also speculates that the Eagles and those Orcs who were Maiar in physical form may have reproduced.<BR></i><BR><BR>Could you please tell me from what material you got this?
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Postby Falborn » Sun Jun 16, 2002 8:45 pm

Once again good post Jallan. If I could clear up a point where I must have micommunicated. I was not saying that the Children were more powerful than the Ainur, just that the children were more powerful than I had originally thought. It seems that incarnation requires great power and that as utterly incarnate beings Men and Elves therefore have great power - not more power than the Ainur, but great power nonetheless.<BR><BR>It seems that the Ainur dissipated themselves in creating Arda and confronting Melkor. Furthermore they substantially dissipated their power when they took incarnate forms. Help me recall, didn't the Istari substantially weaken themselves and lose much of their memory when they became incarnate? Wouldn't the Ainur lose much of their wisdom if they lost much of their memory when incarnate?<BR><BR>I raise these point to understand, and perhaps reconcile for myself, the mighty gods, forces of nature really, that created Arda, sorry, 'mediated' Arda and the later more anthropomorphic (and error prone) gods of most of the Sil.
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Postby ArPharazon » Sun Jun 16, 2002 11:24 pm

Fingolfin - I asked an honest question and receive a string of invective back!! I regret that from now on discussion between us is AT AN END. This happened once before, It appears that you did not learn. I have tried repeatedly to signify my respect for your knowledge of the books - obviously without effect!!<BR><BR>Just to make one thing absolutely clear - I do not think that I have EVER "catagorize[d the late writings]in a negative light even when you lack sufficient foundation or at least provide little." Followed by "I am fine with someone taking issue with the later writings but I think a little support should be given as generaliations based on personal supposition and put forth as fact to my mind cannot be immedialtey accepted as such."<BR><BR>I take GREAT exception to that. I always provide arguments to support my contentions. I have strongly challenged the stance which places (in my view) overmuch reliance on those writings. Both here and in books my reasoning is set out clearly.<BR><BR>Since you yourself have said that tolkien withdrew some of his later thoughts - or did not proceed with them because the implications were too great - I cannot see how you can argue that "the later writtings ...comprise the most complete, accurate and well-thought out writings." If he had died before retracting some of them you would no doubt take them as gospel too.<BR><BR>MERELY BECAUSE SOMETHING IS LATE DOES NOT GIVE IT PRECEDENCE. I cannot believe any academic in any area of serious study would make such an assumption and neither do I.<BR><BR>That does NOT mean I denigrate the later writings - I merely recard them as part of the record to be evalutated in context and against the wider picture with supporting arguments.<BR><BR>The "World War One era writtings" as you call them, can of course not be "the ultimate "prime" that would be foolish. But they have their place because we see there Tolkien's original intent - which could arguably be both more "pure", powerful and better (though not necessarily better expressed) than later writings.<BR><BR>So that's it. I wash my hands of you. Goodbye (as Bilbo might have said).
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Postby Fingolfin_of_the_Noldor » Sun Jun 16, 2002 11:54 pm

<i>I take GREAT exception to that.</i><BR><BR>I was refering to your repeated characterization of those writings I cited as "post-hoc rationalisations" it seemed to me that you were simply using that as a way to invalidate what I was saying. I apologize if I misunderstood. When I spoke of lack of foundation I was refering again to what I saw as again an unsupported characterization the vinyar tengwar text not your stance in general which, as I have affirmed, I hold great respect for <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0><BR><BR><i>Since you yourself have said that tolkien withdrew some of his later thoughts - or did not proceed with them because the implications were too great - I cannot see how you can argue that "the later writtings ...comprise the most complete, accurate and well-thought out writings." If he had died before retracting some of them you would no doubt take them as gospel too.</i><BR><BR>I do not feel I have ever taken the late writings as "gospel" indeed there are many which I lend little to no credence at all I simply feel in general the later versions are more in line with the canon and more internally consistant especially in light of Tolkien's own words as to what he was doing. when I was speaking of the "late writings" in that instance I was refering to the traditions themselve not all the writings in general(which could clearly have been erroneous) I am sorry for not being more clear <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-crying.gif"border=0><BR><BR><i>MERELY BECAUSE SOMETHING IS LATE DOES NOT GIVE IT PRECEDENCE. </i><BR><BR>I completely agree there is always a context to consider as I have affirmed is my belief on a number of occasions.<BR><BR><i>I merely recard them as part of the record to be evalutated in context and against the wider picture with supporting arguments.</i><BR><BR>As do I. I think we simply differ slightly on interpretation of context which intern leads to greater and greater disparities in belief given conceptual expansion. Perhaps the way we view the texts really isn't that different after all <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0><BR>In regard to the WWI era works I again agree and understand better your stance.<BR><BR><i>I asked an honest question and receive a string of invective back!! I regret that from now on discussion between us is AT AN END. This happened once before, It appears that you did not learn. I have tried repeatedly to signify my respect for your knowledge of the books - obviously without effect!!...So that's it. I wash my hands of you. Goodbye (as Bilbo might have said). </i><BR><BR>That was not my intention at all, aside from my initial question put to you(which I admit may have been rooted in misunderstanding) I was simply trying to put forth my beliefs in light of the facts. I may have not been sufficiently clear in this regard(saying "I believe" and things like that) and if I was not then I again apologize. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-crying.gif"border=0><BR><BR>I have great respect for you and your views as well as I have said but I think this conflict is for the most part due to misunderstanding and mistakes perhaps more so on my part <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0> than it is blatent disrespect which I have NEVER wished to communicate especially to you. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0><BR><BR>That said, I do not think it is necessary to cut off communication. A while back LiMuBai and I got into a very VERY heated argument over Balrogs and Wings but in the end we were able to agree to disagree and we are now friends. I hope the same can happen here as I now understand your view considerably better and I hope you see more clearly mine.<BR><BR>I feel just terrible to have given you all this impression. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0><BR><BR>------------<BR><i>This happened once before, It appears that you did not learn. </i><BR><BR>I think this happened before because in the orc debates we were actually debating the same thing just wasn't as straightforward. The fact that the issue has come up again is not really surprising as it has come up multiple times here. I think, however, with your clarification above(up until which point I honestly did not understand what exactly your stance was) and perhaps with my clarification proceeding that the root has finally been exposed and we can agree to differ now wholly understanding each other's views and finally resovle what I have come to realize what has in many ways been only really one debate. Can we shake and be friends? *offers hand*
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Postby ArPharazon » Mon Jun 17, 2002 9:34 am

Fingolfin - I wrote my earlier post this morning before leaving for work, in reaction to yours. I regret that you feel hurt. But we have been around this buoy before. What I am saying now constitutes my last word on the subject.<BR><BR>I accept your hand, and I have paid tribute on this forum and elsewhere, to my sincere admiration for your knowledge of Tolkien and your ability to find appropriate quotes. But it is clear that we simply do not speak the same language or share the same values.<BR><BR>I hold nothing against you personally, but I remain firm in my intention <b>not to enage in debate with you on any subject again</b> at least until I see more flexibility in your arguments than I have hitherto. Otherwise we shall just end up in this situation again. I really regret it Fingolfin - I have nothing against you personally, I assure you - but enough is enough.<BR><BR>I would also advise you to see the post by <b>jeanelf</b> in READ THIS FIRST, where she speaks of the effect on her of the constant citation of late works as if they were the last and final word trumping all other views. Perhaps she puts it more clearly and simply than I have been able to. The lesson surely is that citations must assist and FURTHER the discussion, not crush and quench it. It is, in my view, a question of judgement. If we want this study group to flourish - as I know you do - we MUST look at the impact our posts have. That is why continuing our debate, when our viewpoints are irreconcilable, would be pointless. But it is the reason I have taken up the cudgels against the (in my view) mindless repetition of the finality of Tolkien's late writings.<BR><BR>I regret this parting of the ways, because I do value you VERY HIGHLY as a member of this group and for your knowledge and obvious intelligence, but I see no alternative to cutting off further opportunity for the sort of exchange that has just occurred.<BR><BR>My apologies to others for the boring nature of these posts.<BR>I am sorry too, Fingolfin, that I have to take this approach to you.
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Postby Fingolfin_of_the_Noldor » Mon Jun 17, 2002 10:01 am

<i>I would also advise you to see the post by jeanelf in READ THIS FIRST, where she speaks of the effect on her of the constant citation of late works as if they were the last and final word trumping all other views. </i><BR><BR>I have and I do agree that is why a couple pages ago I suggested if we continue this we do so in Wilko's Thread.<BR><BR>I do not wish to continue this debate but rather end it in such a way that we can in the future discuss various issues. <b> As I said I think the only real reason why this debate has not ended is we have not in the past clearly understood each other's views and so this issue would crop up occasionally as what seemed to be something new would appear but in essence was not.</b> Now, I believe, as the boundires of each of our views and methodologies have been thoroughly laid out we can avoid such confrontations much more effectively and discuss things in a refined fashion. I would not like to lose your input as to my views which I quite often thoroughly enjoy and learn from. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0><BR><BR><i>Then I find your frankly insulting response to my question. </i> <BR><BR>As I said my intention was not to insult, in reegard to my initial question of you I can now understand how you could take it in such a way and for that I have apologized and apologize again.<BR><BR>Perhaps it would be advisible to continue this in the READ THIS FIRST thread and not take up any more space here <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0>
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Postby ArPharazon » Mon Jun 17, 2002 10:28 am

I agree, Fingolfin. But I will say here, to round this off, that you have apologised handsomely and I do appreciate that. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> Some of the blame must, of course also rest with me, and I accept that and apologise if I have offended you in any way.<BR><BR>Let bygones be bygones then, Fingolfin - but let us both use more wisdom and forebearance in the future than we have perhaps in the past.<BR><BR>ArPhy<BR><BR>
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Postby naias » Mon Jun 17, 2002 11:08 am

Hmm…If I may…Could we please make a fresh start? I mean I know that everybody here is waiting for you both gentlemen to resolve this and move forward.<BR>And we need you both here because we rely on you helping us with our study of the Sil.<BR><BR>Could I propose a question?<BR><BR>This is something that attracted my interest from the first reading and it surprises me that we have not mentioned it yet. Therefore, I quote<BR><BR>"Never since have the Ainur made any music like to this music, though it has been said that a greater still shall be made before Iluvatar by the choirs of the Ainur and the Children of Iluvatar after the end of days. Then the themes of Iluvatar shall be played aright, and take Being in the moment of their utterance, for all shall then understand fully his intent in their part, and each shall know the comprehension of each, and Iluvatar shall give to their thoughts the secret fire, being well pleased."<BR><BR>Now, this is an interesting idea about the End of Time and the World. So when all of history is unfolded and all of music played then the world comes to an end …which is what? It looks like the Time of Iluvatar’s Glory when all the beauty of his thought and the width of his conception will be understood by both the Ainur and the Children of Iluvatar.<BR><BR>But there is something “missing” here. Where is the judgement of the Good and the Evil. Are they all going to participate to this final act? Even Melkor?<BR><BR>An intriguing and provoking idea which is by the way consistent to this:<BR>…Iluvatar said again” Behold your music! This is your minstrelsy; and each of you shall find contained herein, amid the design that I set before you, all those things which you may seem that he himself devised or added. And thou, Melkor, wilt discover all the secret thoughts of thy mind, and wilt perceive that they are but part of the whole and tributary to its glory.”<BR><BR>I would be very interested to hear what your thoughts are over that idea of a most catholic Tolkien. I am interested to learn what he himself had to say about that but mostly I would like to know the personal feeling, each one of our VSG lurkers has over such a conception.<BR><BR>naias<BR><BR>
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Postby ArPharazon » Mon Jun 17, 2002 11:59 am

naias - the most diplomatic of reprimands and the nicest of compliments rolled into one!! Beautifully judged. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-blush.gif"border=0> <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Thank you, one and all, for your forebearance.<BR><BR>You ask: "...is something “missing” here. Where is the judgement of the Good and the Evil. Are they all going to participate to this final act? Even Melkor?"<BR><BR>As far as I recall there is to be a final battle when Earendil will come down with the Silmaril and finally vanquish Melkor/Morgoth - it even has a name and features in a prophecy of Mandos. I can't find the reference to check at this moment.<BR><BR>But that might be regarded as the final judgement, I suppose.<BR><BR>Beyond that, maybe Melkor will be foregiven, but his "punishment" will be to learn that all his use of will-power was never that at all. How humiliating when you think about it.<BR><BR>But also when you think about it, that brings us back to the vexed question of does Eru/Iluvatar know evil. And, how cynical and immoral to spill all that blood and cause all that tragedy and strife just to accomplish a heavenly plan. Eru does not appear to me to be a god of "Love" (i.e. the Christian "Father" of the New Testament)on that basis.<BR><BR>So far as the final "Music" is concerned, Christopher Tolkien admits to a discrepancy in the published Sil.<BR><BR>In my paperback version, page 4, it reads "...though it has been said that a great [Music] still shall be made before Iluvatar by the choirs of <i>the Ainur and the Children of Iluvatar</i> after the end of days."<BR><BR>While (jumping ahead) on page 36, he writes: "Yet of old the Valar declared to the Elves in Valinor that Men shall join in the Second Music of the Ainur; <i>whereas Iluvatar has not revealed what he purposes for the Elves after the World's end</i>, and Melkor has not discovered it."<BR><BR>Sounds to me as if JRRT had not made up his own mind what was going to happen.<BR><BR>Theologically speaking though - could Melkor (as one of the Ainur) NOT be part of the last Music? He was the most powerful. Without him would not something of the totality be lacking?<BR><BR>Or is the difference the key we have been looking for.<BR><BR>The first Music represents the nature of existence in which time, evil and will exist. The second Music represents that time when being has evolved to the point where evil, will and time no longer exist.<BR><BR>Just a hypothesis to try on for size!! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Good post naias, and thanks for restarting us and moving us on. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Mon Jun 17, 2002 1:27 pm

I have been reading this debate with interest, and I'm afraid that I am coming late to the party<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>. At the risk of pouring oil upon the flames and apropos of <b>ArPharazon</b>'s, comments on JRRT's <i>rewriting of Galadriel's past to distance her from all that made her so amazing (her part in the rebellion of the Noldor etc) apparently because she had become such a Madonna-like figure (saintly not pop-star) that he could not bear to see her imperfect or tainted with scandal.</i>, evidence suggests that Galadriel, as first conceived, <i>always</i> had a different exit from Valinor than the rest of the Noldor.<BR><BR>The following was previously posted in <a target=new href="http://www.tolkienonline.com/thewhitecouncil/messageview.cfm?catid=27&threadid=33752">Galadriel</a><BR><BR>"<b>ArPharazon</b>: <i>Interestingly, JRRT seems to have got sentimental towards the end of his life and wanted to distance G from Faenor and the kinslaying rebellion etc. So he re-wrote her part in the rebellion and had her and Celeborn making a separate but parallel (in time) departure from Aman to ME.<BR>I think this should be discounted (as a late JRRT interpolation which would have required re-thinking much of the mythology)</i><BR><BR>I would argue, rather, that this version goes back to the very earliest emergence of Galadriel as a character, before LotR was published. In HoME VII, when Galadriel first is thought of (with white hair!), she says of Keleborn and herself: <i>'...The lord and lady of Lothlórien are accounted wise beyond the measure of the Elves of Middle-earth, and of all who have not passed beyond the Seas. For we have dwelt here since the Mountains were reared and the Sun was young.</i><BR>(CJRT notes that this <i>strongly suggests that (JRRT) conceived them both to be Elves of Valinor...,</i> perhaps 'exiled' Noldor, but dwelling in Lórien since the raising of the Pelori and appearance of the Sun.)<BR>However in an addition made to the second draft manuscript, there is added: <i>'And I have dwelt here with him since the days of dawn, <b>when I passed over the seas with Melian of Valinor</b>; and ever together we have fought the long defeat.'</i><BR><BR>This would indicate a different departure than with Fëanor and his rebels- although impossible to fit into the current Silmarillion.<BR>Later developments saw this idea replaced with the version(s) given in 'The Silmarillion', 'Road Goes Ever On' and 'UT' before the late writings in 'UT' revisit this early idea. Certainly there would need to be a lot of modification to other writings- but this occurs time and again throughout JRRT's works, and thus, alone, is not a reason to discount potential changes."<BR><BR>(edited to tidy link)
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Postby greenleafwood » Mon Jun 17, 2002 1:47 pm

naias, thank you for bringing up that paragraph "... though it has been said that a greater still shall be made before Iluvatar by the choirs of the Ainur and the Children of Iluvatar after the end of days."<BR>I've often read that paragraph and wondered who Tolkien is referring to when he says the Children. I know it means the Elves and Men, but I'd like to know where the Elves come into the later Music, since they are immortal only as long as the world exists. In my opionion, when the world ends, the Elves will cease to exist (I don't know if "fade" is the right word to use here).<BR>Does this sentence imply that both races will somehow come together at the end? I'm thinking of Arwen, who elected to become mortal so she could be with Aragorn even after death, but she would never be reunited with her family.<BR><BR><BR><BR>greenleaf
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Postby ArPharazon » Mon Jun 17, 2002 2:13 pm

Rómestámo- <BR><BR>I stand corrected. Thank you for the insightful post. I must admit, that probably without foundation - I was unaware of the citation you give (although I must have read it without taking in the implications) - my starting point was the position as depicted in the published LOTR. This take to be canonical. However, I would readily admit that that assumption is hardly logical.<BR><BR>For what its worth, I personally find Galadriel more epic and moving knowing that she crossed the Helcaraxe and suffered with her people. Those experiences make her so grand and her history so redolent with implications as she meets Frodo and the others in the Fellowship.<BR><BR>Call me sentimental if you will, but I can still recall the wonder and awe I felt when I first read The Sil in 1977 and began to take in the breadth of The Lady's experience. She seemed to expend and grow in my thought as I realised what she represented by the time of the 3rd Age. What a woman!!<BR><BR>But none of that detracts from the fact that technically you are right and I was wrong. Folks should understand that.<BR><BR>Incidentally, an interesting use of EARLY as opposed to late sources there!!<BR><BR>Thanks.<BR>
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Postby Istariquendi » Mon Jun 17, 2002 4:05 pm

Ah, this is a wonderful thread. I don't know why I haven't come here before! Wonderful questions on all parts, but I would like to put in my two or more cents while I have the patience to do so! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>The idea of the end is strange but I think that this reflects some belief that I share and maybe Tolkien intoned. It may be that Tolkien wrote this so as to say there was no true evil in the world, for evil rebels good, yet Eru always said to Melkor that all his actions were but a part in the will of Iluvatar. Thus, Melkor was not truly evil, but an unsightly part in Iluvatar's mind that makes it necessary to understand the will and the beauty of Iluvatar. I believe in the end, when Morgoth is slain in his bodily form, that Melkor's spirit shall enter the Void once more and with the Great Music in the End, he shall know his purpose and finally find peace. For why should he be punished for doing the will of Iluvatar set before him?<BR><BR>ArPharazon: I find your posts are wonderful and insightful, but in here I have to knitpick. I think that with the prophecy of the Last Battle that it is Turin that slays Morgoth, and not Eärendil. I'll have to check the BoLT on this, but I'm quite sure.
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Postby Falborn » Mon Jun 17, 2002 5:51 pm

Tulkas slays Morgoth, Eonwe is at his side.<BR><BR>Naias, you put this forward for discussion as part of your quote above:<BR><BR>"...Then the themes of Iluvatar shall be played aright, and take Being in the moment of their utterance, for all shall then understand fully his intent in their part, and each shall know the comprehension of each, and Iluvatar shall give to their thoughts the secret fire, being well pleased."<BR><BR>What does 'give to their thoughts the secret fire' mean? Does this mean that Ea is reincarnated along with all it's inhabitants?<BR><BR>One of my theories about the end is that over an eternity of Time all of the Ainur, including Morgoth, will finally succomb to the music. It is the ultimate fate of all incarnates.
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Postby Falborn » Mon Jun 17, 2002 5:52 pm

Edit: double posted, sorry.
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Postby Novice » Mon Jun 17, 2002 6:19 pm

Re the question Naias has posted:<BR><BR>What I find interesting is the prediction that at the end of Time and Arda, the Ainur will join in a new, greater and perfected Music to which Eru will lend the Flame Imperishable----to what purpose? The creation of a greater and perfected Arda version 2? Because the Flame Imperishable means (to me) independent life and existence. Perhaps it will be a creation beyond our imaginings and Tolkien's too, I guess, unless it be a reference to his belief in 'God's Kingdom'. It wouldn't be heaven, because he would believe that already exists and that those judged positively already abide there. It intrigues me.<BR><BR>It also makes me reconsider the Valar, and forgive me but I'm returning to topics already discussed, although my view has somewhat expanded due to our discussions <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR>When the Valar entered Ea, they did so on condition that they would stay for the duration, to be it's life and it would be theirs. So, do they expend their power and thereby diminish? This would imply that they have a limited resource of power, which they gradually use up in the realization of Arda, in creating the stars (Varda), in creating the Two Trees (Nienna/Yavanna) etc and in incarnating themselves in the flesh. We've talked around this idea before but I don't think we've come up with satisfying answers. Morgoth is reduced (which allowed him to be expelled into the Void) because he dissipated his power. But are not the Valar similarly reduced, although not to so great an extent? Is it because they are reduced (primarily in that great creative burst at the outset and then in their subsequent actions) that they take so little active part in the life of Arda by the time of the Silm and even more so LOTR? (This is leaving aside any discussion of what their purpose was ie were they supposed to intrude/rule/act or were they supposed to sit back and watch?)<BR><BR>In fact, does the power of the Valar continued to be reduced--even to our own day (supposedly the 6th or 7th Age of Arda), and what does that imply for when the End of Time and Arda comes? Will the Valar be rejuvenated (along with Morgoth/Melkor)? <BR><BR>Sorry, idle ramblings but Naias got me thinking and all of our interposing discussion has set my brain in to overdrive.<BR><BR>Falborn your post is very interesting, as in the light of my questions above, it would indicate that the Music goes beyond Arda, which it describes and ends in that crescendo of final chords, and is then reprised in perfected form--with Morgoth/Melkor because he was such an important part of the music.<BR><BR>-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------<BR>Casual chat amongst friends for all bookish people at <a target=new href="http://www.tolkienonline.com/thewhitecouncil/messageview.cfm?start=40&catid=24&threadid=48072">A word aside....the lounge for bookworms</a><BR><BR>(This was formally known as the Where is Wilko thread, but has been resurrected as a lounge for us bookworms in our friend's honour. Please visit)<BR>
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Mon Jun 17, 2002 6:35 pm

<b>Jallan</b>: <i>Some Maiar, Tolkien tells us, took the form of beasts or plants, for example Oromë's horse Nahar, who it seems could not speak, or at least did not do so.<BR><BR>In Morgoth's Ring (HoME 10), "Myths Transformed", VIII, Orcs, Tolkien notes:<BR><BR><< What of talking beasts and birds with reasoning and speech? These have been rather lightly adopted from less 'serious' mythologies, but play a part which cannot now be excised. >> <BR><BR>As to early Tolkien, in The Book of Lost Tales (HoME 1), chapter II, "The Coming of the Valar", we find:<BR><BR><< With them came many of those lesser Vali who loved them and had played nigh them and attuned their music to theirs, and these are the Mánir and the Súruli, the sylphs of the air and of the winds.<BR> ....<BR> ... About them fared a great host who are the sprites of trees and woods, of dale and forest and mountain-side, or those that sing amid the grass at morning and chant among the standing corn at eve. These are the Nermir and the Tavari, Nandini and Orossi, brownies, fays, pixies, leprawns, and what else are they not called, for their number is very great: yet must they not be confused with the Eldar, for they were born before the world and are older than its oldest, and are not of it, but laught at it much, for had they not somewhat do do with its making, so that it is for the most part a play for them; but the Eldar are of the world and love it with a great and burning love, and are wistful in all their happiness for that reason. >></i><BR><BR>Similar to this is the primitive animism that persists into the published LotR : <BR><BR><<"...There is a wholesome air about Hollin. Much evil must befall a country before it wholly forgets the Elves, if once they dwelt there."<BR><BR>"That is true," said Legolas. "But the Elves of this land were of a race strange to us of the silvan folk, and the trees and the grass do not now remember them. Only I hear the stones lament them: <i>deep they delved us, fair they wrought us, high they builded us; but they are gone.</i> They are gone. They sought the Havens long ago.">><BR><BR>Having appeared in print, JRRT would accept this as 'canonical' but this suggests the Ainur included individuals of such minimal power and energy that they happily incarnate as stones(!?), (not including the trees and grass, for which there might be other reasons). Or is there some other explanation?<BR><BR><BR>Túrin slays Melko, but Tulkas and Fionwë get an 'assist'<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>- see the Second Prophecy of Mandos (HOME IV, pg 165; and Morgoth's Ring pg 76): <i>Then shall the last battle be gathered on the fields in Valinor. In that day Tulkas will strive with Melko, and on his right shall stand Fionwë and on his left Túrin Turambar, son of Húrin, Conqueror of Fate, coming from the Halls of Mandos; and it shall be the black sword of Túrin that deals unto Melko his death and final end; and so shall the children of Hurin and all Men be avenged.</i><BR><BR><BR><BR>(ArP, I too prefer the Galadriel of the 'received tradition', but it is fascinating to wonder what JRRT's final thoughts would have been <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0> )
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Postby ArPharazon » Mon Jun 17, 2002 10:13 pm

Very quickly - as i have to leave for work: <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0><BR><BR>So far as lands forgetting the elves is concerned, I don't think this is animism. I think Tolkien may be referring to the tendency of a place or building to acquire "atmosphere" (or put it another way, an "air"<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>.<BR><BR>You sometimes hear people say of ancient English churches or cathedrals, that they have a "prayed in feel". call it sanctity if you will. It arises from constsnt use for a particular purpose over long periods.<BR><BR>I think this is what JRRT meant about Hollin.<BR><BR>Tolkien's eventual view of Galadriel? Who knows - I think he may have taken to heart too much his analogy to the Virgin Mary, and the regious overtones as he grew older and was moving around them in ever decreasing circles. Just my feeling - I know others differ. I think he got it right in the 50s/60s when she was a Noldorin Princess who had shared many of the vicisitudes of her people and was proud, haughty, magical and unfathomable - much as we see her in LOTR.
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Postby Istariquendi » Tue Jun 18, 2002 10:11 am

Novice: Very interesting thoughts, ones which Tolkien actually explained within the Prophecy that Romestamo posted. (Thanks by the way! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>) Before that is written something like, when ages pass and the Valar become old and weary, then Melko shall escape the void... the rest is posted above. Then it says that the Moon and the Sun shall be recalled from the sky and that the Two Trees shall grow once more and under their light the Valar shall be young again and they shall knock down the Pelori and the light shall overtake the world. Yet this was one of the very early versions, when he had the war between the elves and men with Eriol! I do not know if Tolkien changed his mind along the ripening of his mythology.<BR><BR>So I think that yes, the Valar do have a limited power, and that when their physical raiment perishes with Arda, their spiritual form shall be taken to Iluvatar.<BR><BR>Now comes a strange question. If the light of the Two Trees were to take over the world, then what would happen to the stars? There would be no way to see them and Varda would have created them for nothing! Well, maybe not for nothing. But are the stars limited things up in the sky, only to be taken down when the Trees are reborn? I certainly think that the elves would grieve at this, since they are the people of the stars!
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