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Old 12-24-2002, 02:36 AM   #1
Artanis
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The Silmarillion: Ch.1 Of the beginning of days

Time is up to discuss Quenta Silmarillion Chapter 1: Of the beginning of days This chapter tells the history about the rulers of the Earth and their shaping of the Earth in the beginning of days, and their war against Melkor. There is also section dealing with the gift from Iluvatar to Men.

Other useful reading would be:
HoME4 The Shaping of Middle-Earth:
Ch.V Ambarkanta (there are maps here, unfortunately I don't have access to a scanner now, perhaps somone else could scan them?)
Ch.VI The earliest annals of Valinor, up to V.Y.2000, with notes and commentaries

HoME5 The Lost Road:
Ch.II The later annals of Valinor, up to V.Y.1980, with notes and commentaries.
Ch.VI Quenta Silmarillion part 2: Of Valinor and the two trees

HoME10 Morgoth's Ring:
Part 2: The Annals of Aman, up to year 1050.
Part 3: The later Quenta Silmarillion, the first phase, ch.2: Of Valinor and the two trees
Part 5: Myths transformed

Pictures worth looking at (all from Rolozo Tolkien):
Ted Nasmith: The Sea
Ted Nasmith: The Light of Valinor on the Western Sea
Ted Nasmith: The first dawn of the sun
Ted Nasmith: The lamp of the Valar
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Old 12-24-2002, 03:06 AM   #2
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There should be some interesting topics to discuss here.

1. I do not quite understand why Melkor could withstand all the rest of the Valar in the First War, before the coming of Tulkas. Melkor was the mightiest among them, but Manwe was mighty also, and the allied forces of the Valar and their supporting spirits should have conquered Melkor. Why would Tulkas make such a difference, even if he was a great warrior?

2. When Yavanna made the two trees in Valinor, what was her motive? The marring of Arda had taken place. Did the Valar wish to preserve what had been, not wanting the foretold history to proceed? Was this a sign of weakness on their part?

From Myths transformed:
Quote:
Now one of the objects of the Trees was the healing of the hurts of Melkor, but this could easily have a selfish aspect: The staying of history, not oing on with the Tale. This effect it had on the Valar. They became more and more enamoured of Valinor, and went there more often and stayed there longer. Middle-Earth was left oo little tended, and too little protected against Melkor.
3. Why wouldn't the Valar go to war against Melkor from Valinor? Yavanna was the only one to urge them to war. Had the valar become too comfortable in the light of the trees and their bliss? Was Melkor really so strong, that they could not have him overthrown?

To be continued ....
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Old 12-24-2002, 06:49 AM   #3
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Continued:

4. It is said of the Valar that
Quote:
if ever in their dealings with Elves and Men the Ainur have endeavoured to force them when they would not be guided, seldom has this turned to good, howsoever good the intent.
Do we know any examples of this, when the intentions has been good?

5. Why do you think Melkor has ever feared Men?
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Old 12-24-2002, 07:50 AM   #4
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5. Why do you think Melkor has ever feared Men?
There were many of them, and if all of them joined the fight against him, Melkor would have had some serious trouble. But fortunately for him some/most of them entered his service.
And men would never fade, nor leave ME for Valinor.
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Old 12-25-2002, 10:49 PM   #5
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I think maybe Melkor feared Men because it seems that they were the ones most like him. Maybe he was afraid of what they might be capable of if they worked together. Imagine if he hadn't been chained and the Numenoreans hadn't been corrupted. They probably would have been able to wreak havoc on him, since they were prepared to assail the Valar in Valinor.

Tulkas was the mightiest in strength and deeds, so he was able to take care of Melkor. I think what kept him from being one of the greatest was his lack of interest. For some reason, I think of him like Tom Bombadil -- mighty, but unconcerned. I'm not quite sure why I think of him that way.
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Old 12-26-2002, 05:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
1. I do not quite understand why Melkor could withstand all the rest of the Valar in the First War, before the coming of Tulkas. Melkor was the mightiest among them, but Manwe was mighty also, and the allied forces of the Valar and their supporting spirits should have conquered Melkor. Why would Tulkas make such a difference, even if he was a great warrior?
The rest of the Valar wanted to keep the lands around them unharmed, it's not easy fighting when you constantly have to worry that you don't destroy things around you overmuch. Manw had great power but it was not in fighting and physical feats. Fighting was more up Tulkas' alley. Perhaps the greatest difference was that Tulkas liked fighting.

Quote:
2. When Yavanna made the two trees in Valinor, what was her motive? The marring of Arda had taken place. Did the Valar wish to preserve what had been, not wanting the foretold history to proceed? Was this a sign of weakness on their part?
I think she made the trees primarily to replace the two Lamps that Morgoth destroyed. In a way the Valar did turn Valinor into a memory of what could have been but I think they did so because they knew that in Middle earth itself they could not defeat Morgoth without destroying too much. So they retreated into Valinor:
Quote:
And the Valar could not at that time overcome him, for the greater part of their strength was needed to restrain the tumults of the Earth, and to save from ruin all that could be saved of their labour; and afterwards they feared to rend the Earth again, until they knew where the Children of Ilvatar were dwelling, who were yet to come in a time that was hidden from the Valar.
Quote:
3. Why wouldn't the Valar go to war against Melkor from Valinor? Yavanna was the only one to urge them to war. Had the valar become too comfortable in the light of the trees and their bliss? Was Melkor really so strong, that they could not have him overthrown?
I think a little of both. Valinor was beautiful and free from Morgoth's shadow. I can imagine the Valar didn't really want to leave that little eden. Though some Valar such as Yavanna, Manw, Ulmo and Orom never forgot the rest of the world I guess they just weren't up to defeating Morgoth without destroying even more of their labour.

Quote:
Do we know any examples of this, when the intentions has been good?
How about Fenor's banishment? The Valar banished him in the hope he would repent his deeds and at the end of his banishment would return to them without his former bitterness. But in reality it made Fenor believe even more in Morgoth's lies which eventually resulted in the departure of the Noldor.

Quote:
5. Why do you think Melkor has ever feared Men
No not really, maybe only in the beginning. But I think that near the end of his reign he found them easy to corrupt and rule them. Although a few men such as Hrin and Hor certainly must have frightened him.
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Old 12-26-2002, 10:08 PM   #7
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Regarding Tulkas: Khamul, I like your comment about Tom Bombadil. I think it is because of the references to Tulkas' laughter. Tulkas exhibits extremes of anger/force and laughter/joy. The rest of the Valar are more singular in nature. Manwe '..rules all to peace', he prefers the status quo. Tulkas is more resilient to the evil of Melkor. As Earniel said, he likes to fight. Can't you just see Tulkas roaring in laughter after a fight, either because of the joy of the confrontation, or its result. No wonder Melkor hated him.

About the 2 trees: Like Earniel said, I think that Yavanna wanted to replace the 2 lamps. But she improved them. Not only was the light remade, but the fluctuations of 'living light' gave rise to time.
As well, the light could be collected in vats in case the source was destroyed. The trees were also in the safest place, to protect them from destruction.

Regarding Valinor: I think it was important for the Valar to have a safe haven, away from the effects of Melkor. Melkor had tainted Arda and they couldn't build a retreat there. Too few Valar had first hand knowledge what was transpiring in Arda. And I also think that they were afraid to cause more damage to the lands.

About the counselling of the Valar: I'm a bit rusty, but didn't Ulmo or Osse give assistance to the elves via the rivers? I'm sure someone will find the example.

Why does Melkor fear men? I think Melkor sees them not only as a foe, but as a rival. Men can crave power and they can be corrupted. They can aspire and be driven to achieve great things. They are somewhat unpredictable, their nature is not as cut and dried as the elves. Melkor's greatest evil is the tainting of the gift of mortality. Because of that, men will forever see death with a negative connotation.
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Old 12-26-2002, 10:38 PM   #8
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I think too that as long as there was an alliance between Elves and Men that Morgoth had even a greater fear. The Sil says something like: "To corrupt and destroy whatever arose new and fair was ever the chief design of Morgoth and to ever make Men the foes of the Eldar. This was never wholly achieved though." [Quote from memory] I find it interesting that that is exactly how he achieved his purpose with the Elves in Valinor before the Exile. You would have thought that someone would have realized what he was up to the second time.

I think his fear of Men though was from some uncertianty. He knew the Eldar, and he knew their ways. They were closer to the Valar in spirit than any other creatures. Men and their ways were more of a mystery, so more chancey for him to deal with them. It would be like approaching a pack of dogs and hope they don't go for your throat. But, I think his fear of Men was at its height while Men and Elves were allied.
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Old 12-27-2002, 10:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sister Golden Hair
I find it interesting that that is exactly how he achieved his purpose with the Elves in Valinor before the Exile. You would have thought that someone would have realized what he was up to the second time.
Actually, that has happened several times in our history too. We repeat the mistakes of the past, and then have only ourselves to blame for not reading . And you know, Morgoth wasn't the sort of creature that dies, so he has time to try the same thing twice. In fencing, one can do a move, but although you don't repeat the same move instantly after, you still do use the same tactic later on. Especially if it works, to see if it will work again . And it usually does .

About Morgoth's fearing men, I've got another possibility to throw out. It could be simply because he doesn't understand Ilvatar's purpose with men. Men came into the world, were there for a small amount of time, and then pass away. He doesn't know why they pass away, or what happens to them after death. Nor does he know for what purpose Ilvatar has called them into being, and that worries him. The elves he has lived long with, and he understands his adversaries there. The Maiar and Valar likewise he can comprehend, but this is throwing a wrench into the works of a shape he can't get. And when one doesn't understand something, but knows that it is called into being by your enemy, one fears it.
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Old 12-27-2002, 05:10 PM   #10
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5. Why do you think Melkor has ever feared Men?
There are some interesting passages in BoLT Part 2 relating to Tolkein's thoughts views on this subject.

"Melko did not fear Men" pg 218

and

"Melko...............can suggest evil to Men......." pg 282

and he states Melkor can easily use them to spread " hurt and damage and evil in the world."
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Old 12-27-2002, 11:41 PM   #11
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Aren't Melko from the Book of Lost Tales and Melkor from the Silmarillion different people? Admittedly, I've never read the Book of Lost Tales, but for some reason I'm under this impression.
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Old 12-28-2002, 12:58 AM   #12
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I just brought the Silmarillion today and read this chapter, so I'm happy to discuss this. I havn't read the Sil for a while, so please bear with me.

Quote:
2. When Yavanna made the two trees in Valinor, what was her motive? The marring of Arda had taken place. Did the Valar wish to preserve what had been, not wanting the foretold history to proceed? Was this a sign of weakness on their part?
As someone said, I believe her motive was to replace the broken lamps. Perhaps she thought Arda was already too marred to be fixed, so she wanted to start again in Valinor.

Quote:
5. Why do you think Melkor has ever feared Men?
It says in this chapter that Elves felt that men were most like Melkor. Melkor knew the type of destruction he could reap, so perhaps he thought men could achieve that type of destruction as well and it scared him.

Quote:
4. It is said of the Valar that
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
if ever in their dealings with Elves and Men the Ainur have endeavoured to force them when they would not be guided, seldom has this turned to good, howsoever good the intent.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do we know any examples of this, when the intentions has been good?
My memory is a bit dodgy on this, but Ulmo asked (forced?) Tuor to go to Gondolin to warn Turgon of Morgoth. Well, Gondolin was destroyed, so this did not turn out good, but the intent was good on Ulmo's part.

Quote:
Aren't Melko from the Book of Lost Tales and Melkor from the Silmarillion different people? Admittedly, I've never read the Book of Lost Tales, but for some reason I'm under this impression.
I thought Melkor and Melko were intended to be the same, but Tolkien changed his mind about the name and decided Melkor was better than Melko.
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Old 12-28-2002, 02:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Khaml
Aren't Melko from the Book of Lost Tales and Melkor from the Silmarillion different people?
No. They're both the same character. Melkor is just a more developed one.
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Old 12-28-2002, 04:47 AM   #14
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Originally posted by Kham

Quote:
Aren't Melko from the Book of Lost Tales and Melkor from the Silmarillion different people?
Sorry for the confusion, I should have made it clear that Melko and Melkor are one and the same.
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Old 12-28-2002, 10:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Khaml
Aren't Melko from the Book of Lost Tales and Melkor from the Silmarillion different people? Admittedly, I've never read the Book of Lost Tales, but for some reason I'm under this impression.
They are the same Khamul, but BoLT is an older mythology that Tolkien eventually abandon and began again with the mythology that we know as the Silmarillion and LotRs.
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Old 12-28-2002, 01:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Elvet
Why does Melkor fear men? I think Melkor sees them not only as a foe, but as a rival. Men can crave power and they can be corrupted. They can aspire and be driven to achieve great things. They are somewhat unpredictable, their nature is not as cut and dried as the elves.
They are also not bound by fate, but were given ability to
Quote:
...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; and of their operation everything should be, in form and deed, completed, and the world fulfilled unto the last and smallest.
The last sentence is significant, I think. Here Men could be seen as the ones that will heal the world, or save it from evil, if you wish. Reason good enough for Melkor to fear them.

Quote:
Melkor's greatest evil is the tainting of the gift of mortality.
Agree. Death was supposed to be a blessing, to be free from the sorrows of the world:
Quote:
Death is their fate, the gift of Iluvatar, which as Time wears even the Powers shall envy.
The curse of the Elves is their memory. They remember the bliss they once had, and they know what could have been but are now lost. No wonder they're sad. The Valar too have seen Arda in its spring, before it was tainted. They must be grieved indeed to see what the world has come to.
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Old 12-28-2002, 02:38 PM   #17
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About Telperion and Laurelin, the two trees: Yavanna did not make them all by herself, Nienna should get a bit of the honour as well, as she watered the mould with her tears. I like to think that her sorrow contributed greatly to the beauty of those trees.
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Old 12-28-2002, 07:08 PM   #18
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Isn't the point the Morgoth used Arda-it was "Morgoth's Ring" making assaults on him dangerous to Middle Earth-but actaully weakening Morgoth to the point where Sauron could be more powerful than Morgoth. This isn't stated explicitly in the Silmarillion, but it was on Tolkien's mind in his old age, and shapes the reactions of the Valar.
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Old 12-28-2002, 10:55 PM   #19
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Thanks to everyone for the clarification.
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Old 12-31-2002, 07:53 AM   #20
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Hey, where is everybody? We haven't finished this yet, you know.

In Morgoth's Ring it is said that Melkor/Morgoth put forth his power into the physical Earth, and thus marred it, but by that deed his spirit was greatly diminished, and he became bound to his physical shape. Now the Valar also used their power to create things: Varda made the stars, Yavanna made the Two Trees and all that grows in Middle-Earth, Aule wrought the lamps and so on, and all the Valar laboured to shape the Earth. Wouldn't this imply that the spirits of the Valar also would diminish? What do you think?
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