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Old 02-07-2003, 03:10 PM   #1
Artanis
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The Silmarillion: Ch.3 Of the coming of the Elves and the captivity of Melkor

Some discussion points:

(1) Melkor was the first to be aware of the awakening of the Elves. Again I'm filled with astonishment of the Valar, who for the most part stayed in Valinor and did not discover the awakening of the Quendi, but let Melkor be aware of them first and thus enabled him to do his evil deeds against them. Shouldn't they have been at least as watchful as Melkor was? What do you think?

(2)
Quote:
Thus it was that the Valar found at last, as it were by chance, those whom they had so long awaited. And Orom looking upon the Elves was filled with wonder, as though they were beings sudden and marvellous and unforeseen; for so it shall ever be with the Valar. From without the World, though all things may be forethought in music or foreshown in vision from afar, to those who enter verily into E each in its time shall be met at unawares as something new and unforetold.
Can you figure out the meaning of this? Orom knew the Elves would come, and yet he was filled with wonder, as if it was unforeseen?

(3)
Quote:
And in that dark time Melkor bred many other monsters of divers shapes and kinds that long troubled the world; and his realm spread now ever southward over Middle-earth.
What were these monsters that Melkor bred, and from which origin?

(4)
Quote:
Then again the Valar were gathered in council, and they were divided in debate. For some, and of those Ulmo was the chief, held that the Quendi should be left free to walk as they would in Middle-earth, and with their gifts of skill to order all the lands and heal their hurts. But the most part feared for the Quendi in the dangerous world amid the deceits of the starlit dusk; and they were filled moreover with the love of the beauty of the Elves and desired their fellowship. At the last, therefore, the Valar summoned the Quendi to Valinor, there to be gathered at the knees of the Powers in the light of the Trees for ever; and Mandos broke his silence, saying: 'So it is doomed.' From this summons came many woes that afterwards befell.
Do you think the Valar did right to summon the Elves to Valinor? Did they do it out of selfishness, because they 'desired their fellowship'. The Elves awoke in Middle-Earth, does that indicate that Middle-Earth was the place appointed to them?

(5)
Quote:
At length the Vanyar and the Noldor came over Ered Luin, the Blue Mountains, between Eriador and the westernmost land of Middle-earth, which the Elves after named Beleriand; and the foremost companies passed over the Vale of Sirion and came down to the shores of the Great Sea between Drengist and the Bay of Balar. But when they beheld it great fear came upon them, and many withdrew into the woods and highlands of Beleriand.
This is intriguing. Why would the Elves fear the Sea so strongly?

(6)The Vanyar were most loved by Manw, and recieved song and poetry from him. Aul was named Friend of the Noldor, and he teached them much lore of craft. The Teleri were most befriended by Ulmo, from whom they learned much about music and the flowing of all waters. If this diversement among the Elves was the design of Ilvatar, what was his purpose? Any thoughts?

And at last
(7)
Quote:
But at the last the gates of Utumno were broken and the halls unroofed, and Melkor took refuge in the uttermost pit. Then Tulkas stood forth as champion of the Valar and wrestled with him, and cast him upon his face; and he was bound with the chain Angainor that Aul had wrought, and led captive; and the world had peace for a long age.
Anyone else except me that would want to watch that wrestling match? Tulkas Champion of the Valar vs. Melkor
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Old 02-07-2003, 03:21 PM   #2
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Additional readings for this chapter:

HoME 1, Book of Lost Tales 1: The coming of the Elves and the making of Kor.
HoME 5, The lost Road: Quenta Silmarillion: 3(a) Of the coming of the Elves
HoME 10, Morgoth's Ring: The later Quenta Silmarillion, I-3 Of the coming of the Elves

And this is Ted Nasmith's vision of the Elves beneath the newly-wrought stars at lake Cuivinen.
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Old 02-07-2003, 04:37 PM   #3
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Re: The Silmarillion: Ch.3 Of the coming of the Elves and the captivity of Melkor

Quote:
Originally posted by Artanis
Some discussion points:

(1) Melkor was the first to be aware of the awakening of the Elves. Again I'm filled with astonishment of the Valar, who for the most part stayed in Valinor and did not discover the awakening of the Quendi, but let Melkor be aware of them first and thus enabled him to do his evil deeds against them. Shouldn't they have been at least as watchful as Melkor was? What do you think?
Doesn't it say some where that the Valar became weary of going into Middle-earth to undo the damage that Morgoth had caused? They must have resigned themselves to forsake Middle-earth to a degree, and that left the Quendi vulnerable.


Quote:
(2)Can you figure out the meaning of this? Orom knew the Elves would come, and yet he was filled with wonder, as if it was unforeseen?
The Valar were aware that the Firstborn would awake, but they did not know where, and I think that the Elves were made so fair and beautiful, that it was even beyond the comprehension of the Valar. It just wasn't what they expected.

Quote:
(3)
What were these monsters that Melkor bred, and from which origin?
Hmmm. Good question. There seems to be many evil creatures that we don't meet, and that Tolkien gives no specifics on.

Quote:
(4)
Do you think the Valar did right to summon the Elves to Valinor? Did they do it out of selfishness, because they 'desired their fellowship'. The Elves awoke in Middle-Earth, does that indicate that Middle-Earth was the place appointed to them?
We've talked about this before. I was always under the impression that the Elves were meant to live in Middle-earth, and that that was the whole purpose of its creation. As for the Valar having selfish motives for inviting the Quendi to Aman: It may have been a combination of selfishness and concern for their safety, and by having them come to Aman made it easier to protect them, but I think when the Valar saw them, they loved them, and saw that the Quendi were much like them in spirit, and therefore wanted to be with them.

Quote:
(5)
This is intriguing. Why would the Elves fear the Sea so strongly?
That is a puzzle.

Quote:
(6)The Vanyar were most loved by Manw, and recieved song and poetry from him. Aul was named Friend of the Noldor, and he teached them much lore of craft. The Teleri were most befriended by Ulmo, from whom they learned much about music and the flowing of all waters. If this diversement among the Elves was the design of Ilvatar, what was his purpose? Any thoughts?
It does seem that Eru made each race of the Eldar with different interests, talents, etc. Maybe a good question to ask would be: What was Tolkien's purpose? He made them all fair, intelligent, and immortal, but in order to inject the strife that existed between the races, I think they had to be different in other ways.

And at last
Quote:
(7)
Anyone else except me that would want to watch that wrestling match? Tulkas Champion of the Valar vs. Melkor
OMG yes. How entertaining it would be to watch Morgoth get a big butt whoopen.
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Old 02-08-2003, 12:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Melkor was the first to be aware of the awakening of the Elves. Again I'm filled with astonishment of the Valar, who for the most part stayed in Valinor and did not discover the awakening of the Quendi, but let Melkor be aware of them first and thus enabled him to do his evil deeds against them. Shouldn't they have been at least as watchful as Melkor was? What do you think?
A few reasons:
~Melkor was in Middle Earth, the Valar were in Valinor. Only Yavanna, Orome, Ulmo, and Manwe paid anny attention to th real world, and only yavanna and orome ever went there. Melkor not only lived in the place, he had servants everywhere.
~The Elves also awoke on the other side of the world from valinor. Obviously the place where they were least interested.
~Melkor was intent on dominating middle earth, and so was active everywhere. The valar had no idea when the elves would show up, and so weren't terribly vigilant.

Quote:
Can you figure out the meaning of this? Orom knew the Elves would come, and yet he was filled with wonder, as if it was unforeseen?
Let me put it this way: If I tell you 'some day you're going to read lord of the rings and realize how great it is', does that really prepare you for what it's like when you actually get into it for the first time? The elves were something like that. Orome had no idea what they were going to be, only that they were coming.
Quote:
What were these monsters that Melkor bred, and from which origin?
He bred anything he could, from anything he could get his hands on. He wasn't picky.
Quote:
Do you think the Valar did right to summon the Elves to Valinor? Did they do it out of selfishness, because they 'desired their fellowship'. The Elves awoke in Middle-Earth, does that indicate that Middle-Earth was the place appointed to them?
I think the valar were wrong to hide away in valinor in the first place. I certainly think they were wrong to attempt to secure the elves away from the world.
Quote:
The Vanyar were most loved by Manw, and recieved song and poetry from him. Aul was named Friend of the Noldor, and he teached them much lore of craft. The Teleri were most befriended by Ulmo, from whom they learned much about music and the flowing of all waters. If this diversement among the Elves was the design of Ilvatar, what was his purpose? Any thoughts?
The elves each had specific traits, and gravitated towards the vala who shared those traits. No biggie.
Quote:
Anyone else except me that would want to watch that wrestling match? Tulkas Champion of the Valar vs. Melkor
Let's get ready to rumble!
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Old 02-08-2003, 11:40 AM   #5
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Isn't the sea not only good, but also chaotic. Osse was almost seduced by Morgoth into seriving him-so it remains fearful and awesome, even if it also is symbolic of communication with divine.
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Old 02-08-2003, 01:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by markedel
Isn't the sea not only good, but also chaotic. Osse was almost seduced by Morgoth into seriving him-so it remains fearful and awesome, even if it also is symbolic of communication with divine.
Speculating loudly: One could almost suspect Ulmo of injecting fear into the Elves, to keep them from going to Aman - after all he did oppose to the idea in the council of the Valar. Or perhaps Melkor by some means had been able to put fear into their hearts.
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Old 02-08-2003, 10:46 PM   #7
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From The War of the Jewels: Quendi and Eldar Cuivienyarna
Quote:
While their first bodies were being made from the 'flesh of Arda' the Quendi slept 'in the womb of the Earth', beneath the green sward, and awoke when they were full-grown. But the First Elves (also called the Unbegotten, or the Eru-begotten) did not all wake together. Eru had so ordained that each should lie beside his or her 'destined spouse'. But three Elves awoke first of all, and they were elf-men, for elf-men are more strong in body and more eager and adventurous in strange places. These three Elf-fathers are named in the ancient tales Imin,Tata, and Enel. They awoke in that order, but with little time between each; and from them, say the Eldar, the words for one, two, and three were made: the oldest of all numerals.
And so it was that the Quendi ever after reckoned in twelves, and that 144 was for long their highest number, so that in none of their later tongues was there any common name for a greater number. And so also it came about that the 'Companions of Imin' or the Eldest Company (of whom came the Vanyar) were nonetheless only fourteen in all, and the smallest company; and the 'Companions of Tata' (of whom came the oldor) were fifty-six in all; but the 'Companions of Enel' although the Youngest Company were the largest; from them came the Teleri (or Lindar), and they were in the beginning seventy-four in all.
Now the Quendi loved all of Arda that they had yet seen, and
green things that grew and the sun of summer were their delight;
but nonetheless they were ever moved most in heart by the Stars, and the hours of twilight in clear weather, at 'morrow-dim' and at 'even-dim', were the times of their greatest joy. For in those hours in the spring of the year they had first awakened to life in Arda. But the Lindar, above all the other Quendi, from their beginning were most in love with water, and sang before they could speak.
I thought it would be appropiate to bring something more specific in regards to the Awakening of the Elves.
Interesting to note that these three elves that first awoke were not the Elves chosen by Orom as ambassadors. (In the case of Finw, he chose his spouse Mriel in Valinor, and Elw spoused a Maia.)
I wonder what the Eldest elves thought of that?
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What does the term american refers to asked the boy, and the wise man answered: Lets look at the dictionary then.
As an adjective American is:
1. Of or relating to the United States of America or its people, language, or culture.
2. Of or relating to North or South America, the West Indies, or the Western Hemisphere.
As a noun American is:
A native or inhabitant of America.
A citizen of the United States.

Then the boy asked, What is America then?, and the wise man looked at the dictionary again:
1. The United States.
2. also the Americas. The landmasses and islands of North America, Central America, and South America.

Confused, the boy asked, Does the term american refers solely to a us citizen or to any person in North, Central or South America?
The wise man replied: What do you think?, and the boy answered: It is clear to me that while the term american is used to refers to us citizens, one can also use it to refer to any person who is from that continent too, the boy thought for a while and asked the wise man, Am I right?, and he replied: But of course.
The boy wondered, why is it that some people refuse to acknowledge the fact that the term american refers not only to US citizens but to anyone of the American continent?, but then sadly, the boy understood, that it is the calamity of ignorance.
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Old 02-08-2003, 11:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Melkor was the first to be aware of the awakening of the Elves. Again I'm filled with astonishment of the Valar, who for the most part stayed in Valinor and did not discover the awakening of the Quendi, but let Melkor be aware of them first and thus enabled him to do his evil deeds against them. Shouldn't they have been at least as watchful as Melkor was? What do you think?
From Morgoth's Ring: Myths Transformed
Quote:
The last effort of this sort made by the Valar was the raising up of the Pelri but this was not a good act: it came near to countering Morgoth in his own way - apart from the element of selfishness in its object of preserving Aman as a blissful region to live in.
From Morgoth's Ring: The Converse of Manw and Eru
Quote:
There were many such far of Elves who had died in Middle-earth gathered in the Halls of Mandos, but it was not until the death of Mriel in Aman that Manw appealed directly to Eru for counsel. Eru 'accepted and ratified the position' - though making it plain to Manw that the Valar should have contested Melkor's domination of Middle-earth far earlier, and that they had lacked estel: they should have trusted that in a legitimate war Eru would not have permitted Melkor so greatly to damage Arda that the Children could not come, or could not inhabit it
The Valar are not perfect.
Quote:
Can you figure out the meaning of this? Orom knew the Elves would come, and yet he was filled with wonder, as if it was unforeseen?
Because he saw for the first time, the glory of Ilvatar.
Quote:
What were these monsters that Melkor bred, and from which origin?
The Valar created a complete ecosystem in Arda, with plants and animal life.
Quote:
Do you think the Valar did right to summon the Elves to Valinor? Did they do it out of selfishness, because they 'desired their fellowship'. The Elves awoke in Middle-Earth, does that indicate that Middle-Earth was the place appointed to them?
They were selfish.
Quote:
The Vanyar were most loved by Manw, and recieved song and poetry from him. Aul was named Friend of the Noldor, and he teached them much lore of craft. The Teleri were most befriended by Ulmo, from whom they learned much about music and the flowing of all waters. If this diversement among the Elves was the design of Ilvatar, what was his purpose? Any thoughts?
Well, to me the Vanyar are like the most useless elves that one can hope to meet.
Aul was a friend of the oldor but after the exile, he didn't do didly squat for them unlike Ulmo. Even Manw send Torondor to rescue the first son of the first prince of the oldor, the one who was so powerful that only his great grace could temper the strenght of his step.
The Teleri are just Teleri, they just made their ships and that was their great acomplishment, with the exception of Lthien.
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What does the term american refers to asked the boy, and the wise man answered: Lets look at the dictionary then.
As an adjective American is:
1. Of or relating to the United States of America or its people, language, or culture.
2. Of or relating to North or South America, the West Indies, or the Western Hemisphere.
As a noun American is:
A native or inhabitant of America.
A citizen of the United States.

Then the boy asked, What is America then?, and the wise man looked at the dictionary again:
1. The United States.
2. also the Americas. The landmasses and islands of North America, Central America, and South America.

Confused, the boy asked, Does the term american refers solely to a us citizen or to any person in North, Central or South America?
The wise man replied: What do you think?, and the boy answered: It is clear to me that while the term american is used to refers to us citizens, one can also use it to refer to any person who is from that continent too, the boy thought for a while and asked the wise man, Am I right?, and he replied: But of course.
The boy wondered, why is it that some people refuse to acknowledge the fact that the term american refers not only to US citizens but to anyone of the American continent?, but then sadly, the boy understood, that it is the calamity of ignorance.

Last edited by Maedhros : 02-08-2003 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 02-09-2003, 05:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Maedhros
Interesting to note that these three elves that first awoke were not the Elves chosen by Orom as ambassadors. (In the case of Finw, he chose his spouse Mriel in Valinor, and Elw spoused a Maia.)
I wonder what the Eldest elves thought of that?
Good question One should think the three that first awoke would be the leaders of their people.

Where did the reckoning in twelves come from? Did I completely miss something?

Quote:
The Valar are not perfect.
They're certainly not perfect. I'm glad there's someone except me who see their selfishness.
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Old 02-09-2003, 06:28 AM   #10
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Where did the reckoning in twelves come from? Did I completely miss something?
Yes. Elves have six fingers.
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Old 02-09-2003, 08:14 AM   #11
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Very funny.
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Old 02-09-2003, 08:39 AM   #12
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Regarding Melkor knowing the elves first:
I'm with Wayfarer on this one. I think that Melkor's domain was Middle Earth and he was vigilant over his lands. The Valar that came to M-E were more like absentee landlords, checking out their favorite haunts and the environment that they wrought.
They would have had to meet the elves almost by chance.

Regarding the wonder of Orome:
As said before, the reality of the elves was far more astounding that he Valar could ever have imagined.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
'From without the World, though all things may be forethought in music or foreshown in vision from afar, to those who enter verily into E each in its time shall be met at unawares as something new and unforetold.'
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I like this quote alot. It reminds me of the phrase 'seeing through the eyes of a child'.

The monsters of Melkor:
I'm pretty sure this has been discussed before, but I'll give you my conjectures.
Balrogs - corrupted Maiar
Trolls - corrupted Ents
Orcs - corrupted elves
Wraith's flying steeds - corrupted eagles
Wargs - corrupted wolves

Should the elves have been left to their own devices?
Like other posters, I think they were intended to stay in the realm of Middle-earth, but there wouldn't be much of a story
then. I think that the Valar had some selfish motives, but they truly wanted to keep the Eldar protected. They were selfish in that they wanted to impart their wisdom and council on the elves, rather than leaving them to their own development. By keeping the elves under their wing, they protected them from evil. But it was inevitable that some of the elves would come to see this protection as a type of constraint and would seek independence.
This rebellion was how I interpreted Mandros' "So it is doomed'.
Pehaps this lesson was why the Valar distanced themselves from men.


Why the Elves feared the sea:
This was when they saw the seas for the first time, before the ocean became a conduit to the safety of Aman.


The diversity of Eldar interest:
I think that this is nothing more than Tolkien's fashion of cultural differences. It also lessens the chance of a 'super race' of elves. Each has their own forte thus bringing their expertise to the management of Middle-earth's diverse ecosystems - forests, coastlines, plains, mountains etc.
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Old 02-09-2003, 11:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Artanis
They're certainly not perfect. I'm glad there's someone except me who see their selfishness.
I would think that Ran shares that assesment too Artanis.
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What does the term american refers to asked the boy, and the wise man answered: Lets look at the dictionary then.
As an adjective American is:
1. Of or relating to the United States of America or its people, language, or culture.
2. Of or relating to North or South America, the West Indies, or the Western Hemisphere.
As a noun American is:
A native or inhabitant of America.
A citizen of the United States.

Then the boy asked, What is America then?, and the wise man looked at the dictionary again:
1. The United States.
2. also the Americas. The landmasses and islands of North America, Central America, and South America.

Confused, the boy asked, Does the term american refers solely to a us citizen or to any person in North, Central or South America?
The wise man replied: What do you think?, and the boy answered: It is clear to me that while the term american is used to refers to us citizens, one can also use it to refer to any person who is from that continent too, the boy thought for a while and asked the wise man, Am I right?, and he replied: But of course.
The boy wondered, why is it that some people refuse to acknowledge the fact that the term american refers not only to US citizens but to anyone of the American continent?, but then sadly, the boy understood, that it is the calamity of ignorance.
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Old 02-09-2003, 11:32 AM   #14
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Aaargh! Where are you, Ran? I can't be both of us here all the time....
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Old 02-09-2003, 03:37 PM   #15
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I am not very learned in The Silmarillion, but here are my thoughts on some of the matters being discussed:

My personal feeling is that Eru was right, the Valar should have stayed in ME to keep Melkor in check. It makes sense that if Arda was wrought for the Children, that is where they were intended to live. It almost seems like a big mistake that the Valar had them come to Valinor. Instead, the Valar should have gone to dwell in Arda. This brings a question into my mind, why the elves that did not go to Valinor were the "lesser" elves (aside from the fact that those that did go learned from the Valar themselves, they were more blessed it seems, and did Eru intend for this to be the case?). So did Eru foresee this taking place? Did he know the elves would be led out of ME?
Elvet's take on the matter reminded me of discussion elsewhere on Gandalf taking the one ring: it was speculated that the corruption of his power would be manifest in his oppression of all because of his ultimate decision-making being done "for their own good," rather than allowing them to govern themselves freely. (ugh, what a poorly written sentence. I hope you could get what I meant out of that). This reminds me of the Valar doing what they did because they felt they knew what was best, rather than allowing the elves to develop on their own with help given in the realm prepared for them. And I agree, the Valar seemed to see that the result of their actions was bad enough that by the time men came, they had learned their lesson in that respect, but I think they still should have given guidance and been involved, just to a lesser extent.

The sea -- to me it makes sense that beings who had come from the earth would fear the sea out of inexperience. It is vast and they were made to live on land, so crossing a body of water that big would understandably have made them nervous to the point of "You ain't getting me over that!" Perhaps similar to people who feared air travel when airplanes were first used for commercial flight, and refused to fly.

The three branches of the Eldar with their distinct specialties reminds me of the three kinds of hobbit. I too think JRRT liked diversity among "his peoples."

Melkor's monsters -- what about the werewolves and vampires? And don't forget Ungoliant -- a corrupted Maia as well?

Although I don't post much here, I read every post and have learned a lot. It really helps me to understand The Silmarillion better. Thanks for doing this!
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Old 02-09-2003, 05:31 PM   #16
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Be aware, Erniel is going on a ramble again....

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(1) Melkor was the first to be aware of the awakening of the Elves. Again I'm filled with astonishment of the Valar, who for the most part stayed in Valinor and did not discover the awakening of the Quendi, but let Melkor be aware of them first and thus enabled him to do his evil deeds against them. Shouldn't they have been at least as watchful as Melkor was? What do you think?
If they had been a little more watchful things might indeed have turned out better. I guess that the beauty of Valinor lulled their responsibility-feelings towards the darker part of Middle-earth somewhat. But on the other hand, the Elves woke right under Melkor's nose, so to speak. It might be possible that he even stalled the discovery of the Elves by the Valar so he would have more time to work his evil tricks. Frankly I wouldn't be surprised if he had.

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(2)Can you figure out the meaning of this? Orom knew the Elves would come, and yet he was filled with wonder, as if it was unforeseen?
He knew they were coming but he had never actualy seen them before except in the vision that Ilvatar showed them. I'm guessing that he knew more or less how the Elves would look, but the real thing often beats the best description. Besides the Elves were very different from any other creature that lived then. It must have been thrilling to come upon creatures so like and yet so unlike themselves.

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(4) Do you think the Valar did right to summon the Elves to Valinor? Did they do it out of selfishness, because they 'desired their fellowship'. The Elves awoke in Middle-Earth, does that indicate that Middle-Earth was the place appointed to them?
Personally I think distancing themselves in fair Valinor was a mistake in the first place. They put themselves in a difficult position, it is very hard for any guardian to protect something that is far away. I think the Valar realised that a little too late. If they had challenged Melkor earlier and had remained on the eastern shores, things would have been better. But obviously the Valar had no wish to contest with Melkor there.

The only way out of the problem was to bring the Elves to Valinor. I think that at the time the Valar really thought of it as for the best. I got the impression that the Valar considered the eastern shores as 'lost' to Melkor and that any strife over his dominion would only lead to more damage, something the Valar wanted to avoid as much as possible. In that view, bringing the Elves to Valinor would be as saving them. It's difficult to determine which reason moved them the most: to save the Elves or to enjoy the Elves' company. Both played a role.

The Valar wanted to preserve all they could. I wonder if that isn't a trait they passed on to the Elves. If I think of Galadriel I remember how she wanted to preserve the beauty of Lothlorien forever. It is in my eyes also a negative effect from moving the Elves to Valinor. While Valinor is eternally beautiful and undying, the mortal lands 'die' and are reborn each series of seasons. After their stay in Valinor it seemed as if there were but little Elves who could enjoy those constant changes of the world. Which is sad if those lands were indeed intended for the Elves in the first place. In a way it's tainting the gift.

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Anyone else except me that would want to watch that wrestling match? Tulkas Champion of the Valar vs. Melkor
Where can I buy tickets? And popcorn?
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Old 02-09-2003, 11:53 PM   #17
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Nyah!

OK, just to astonish everyone, I'm going to disagree with Artanis! I don't really see the Valar's primary problem as selfishness. I see it more as timidity, or "lack of estel (hope)", as Maedhros quoted. IOW, not trusting in Ilvatar to take care of things as they step out and actively fight evil.

And re the sea - I can well imagine their fear! Picture awakening on dry land and only seeing small bodies of water or rivers, then coming over a hill one day and seeing .... THE SEA! Vast, tumultuous, stretching as far as you can see - it must have been quite a sight for them! Then maybe one or two of the bravest would venture out into the waves a bit, and end up with a mouthful of sand as they got knocked over! I've lived in California all of my life, within an hour of the Pacific Ocean, and the sights and sounds of the ocean still amaze me.
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Old 02-10-2003, 12:08 AM   #18
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Yeah but Tolkien says that all the Elves had a longing for the sea in their haerts. In some it slumbered.
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Old 02-10-2003, 12:19 AM   #19
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OK, just to astonish everyone, I'm going to disagree with Artanis!
Ran, how could you.
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I think that at the time the Valar really thought of it as for the best. I got the impression that the Valar considered the eastern shores as 'lost' to Melkor and that any strife over his dominion would only lead to more damage, something the Valar wanted to avoid as much as possible. In that view, bringing the Elves to Valinor would be as saving them. It's difficult to determine which reason moved them the most: to save the Elves or to enjoy the Elves' company. Both played a role.
The Valar lacked estel.
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My personal feeling is that Eru was right, the Valar should have stayed in ME to keep Melkor in check.
Ok, but can Ilvatar be wrong?
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Although I don't post much here, I read every post and have learned a lot. It really helps me to understand The Silmarillion better. Thanks for doing this!
I'm glad that you posted azalea.
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What does the term american refers to asked the boy, and the wise man answered: Lets look at the dictionary then.
As an adjective American is:
1. Of or relating to the United States of America or its people, language, or culture.
2. Of or relating to North or South America, the West Indies, or the Western Hemisphere.
As a noun American is:
A native or inhabitant of America.
A citizen of the United States.

Then the boy asked, What is America then?, and the wise man looked at the dictionary again:
1. The United States.
2. also the Americas. The landmasses and islands of North America, Central America, and South America.

Confused, the boy asked, Does the term american refers solely to a us citizen or to any person in North, Central or South America?
The wise man replied: What do you think?, and the boy answered: It is clear to me that while the term american is used to refers to us citizens, one can also use it to refer to any person who is from that continent too, the boy thought for a while and asked the wise man, Am I right?, and he replied: But of course.
The boy wondered, why is it that some people refuse to acknowledge the fact that the term american refers not only to US citizens but to anyone of the American continent?, but then sadly, the boy understood, that it is the calamity of ignorance.
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Old 02-10-2003, 03:17 AM   #20
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Originally posted by Ran
OK, just to astonish everyone, I'm going to disagree with Artanis!
Hear, hear! Now we're getting somewhere!
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I don't really see the Valar's primary problem as selfishness. I see it more as timidity, or "lack of estel (hope)", as Maedhros quoted. IOW, not trusting in Ilvatar to take care of things as they step out and actively fight evil.
But even if they could not trust Ilvatar to aid them in war, how could they just retreat from everything? Real valour is to fight on even when there's no hope left, not even Estel. But the Valar fled and created a paradise for themselves, and laid the rest of the world more or less open to Melkor.
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Then Manw said to the Valar: 'This is the counsel of Ilvatar in my heart: that we should take up again the mastery of Arda, at whatsoever cost, and deliver the Quendi from the shadow of Melkor.'
The phrase 'take up again' implies to me that the Valar had earlier abandoned their task.

Maedhros, I would say Ilvatar could not be wrong, simply because He is setting the standard of 'rightness'. If Ilvatar could be wrong, it would imply a power even greater than Him.

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Originally posted by Erniel
The Valar wanted to preserve all they could. I wonder if that isn't a trait they passed on to the Elves. If I think of Galadriel I remember how she wanted to preserve the beauty of Lothlorien forever. It is in my eyes also a negative effect from moving the Elves to Valinor. While Valinor is eternally beautiful and undying, the mortal lands 'die' and are reborn each series of seasons. After their stay in Valinor it seemed as if there were but little Elves who could enjoy those constant changes of the world. Which is sad if those lands were indeed intended for the Elves in the first place. In a way it's tainting the gift.
Good observation Erniel The Moriquendi were happier in Middle-Earth, weren't they?

azalea, I like your thoughts about how the Valar's actions would resemble Gandalf vielding the One Ring.
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