Chapter of the Week LOTR Bk2 Ch2 The Council of Elrond (PART 2 - Reports)

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Christopher Kreuzer

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Apr 19, 2004, 7:04:13 PM4/19/04
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Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
Book 2, Chapter 2: The Council of Elrond (PART 2 of 3)

To read the previous Chapter of the Week discussions, or to sign up to
introduce a future chapter, go to http://parasha.maoltuile.org

Due to the length and complexity of this chapter, I have divided the
material into three separate posts, of which this is the second. The
three separate posts are:

PART 1 - Introduction: an overall summary and general points.
PART 2 - The Reports: details of the reports and the response.
PART 3 - The Characters: discussion of characterisation.

I have tried to make each of the three posts self-contained, but it is
still best to read all three first. Also, the posts are still very long,
so please remember to quote only the bits to which you reply.

PART 2 - THE REPORTS
====================

'The Council of Elrond' is the longest chapter and one of the most
complex in 'The Lord of the Rings'. It covers a staggering amount of
material. The Council takes place one morning on a porch at Rivendell,
but through the medium of storytelling we, along with Frodo and the rest
of the Council, travel far in time and to many different places in
Middle-earth, learning much about what has been happening.

The reports presented at the Council are unified by two common themes:
the growing power of Sauron and his hunt for the Ring; and the history
of the Ring, its discovery and the response of the Wise. This is
naturally followed by a debate about what to do with the Ring.

Rather than do detailed summaries of the individual reports, which would
simply rehash the entire chapter in excruciating detail, and in less
poetic language than Tolkien uses, I have chosen to try and summarize
(using these themes) what the Council learn from the reports, and how
they decide what to do.

(i) Sauron's Threat
(ii) The History of the Ring
(iii) Identifying the Ring
(iv) Sauron's Hunt for the Ring
(v) The Fate of the Ring

i) THE GEOPOLITICAL SITUATION. Elrond: "You will hear today all that you
need in order to understand the purposes of the Enemy."

We learn from Elrond and Gandalf that after Sauron's defeat by the Last
Alliance there was peace for a long while, but evil eventually arose in
Mordor once more. Sauron took shape again in Dol Guldur in Southern
Mirkwood, and Minas Ithil was taken by the Nazgul. When Sauron was
driven from Mirkwood he returned to Mordor and soon openly declared his
strength. The current situation is that Sauron threatens all the western
world. Southern Mirkwood has been retaken by the enemy. A shadow of
disquiet has drawn Balin to Moria. Orodruin is active once more, and
Gondor is hard pressed to contain Mordor and its allies from the South
and East. Dale and Erebor are under threat. Most recently, Gondor's
forces have been defeated in Ithilien and forced across the River
Anduin. Gandalf hears about this in the Shire, receiving messages of war
and defeat in Gondor, with refugees fleeing to Eriador. Then the most
chilling news of all: the Nazgul have come forth. The shadow of Sauron
now lies on distant lands. Rohan is threatened by Saruman, who is
gathering an army. The Eagles have seen the mustering of the orcs, and
bring news of Gollum's escape with the aid of Sauron's forces. And the
threat of treason and spies is ever present. Legolas says "More is known
of our doings than we could wish", and Radagast fears that the hedges
have ears.

ii) THE HISTORY OF THE RING. Elrond: "...so that all may understand what
is the peril, The Tale of the Ring shall be told from the beginning even
to this present."

Elrond recounts the history of the Ring. He doesn't give dates, but they
can be supplied from 'The Tale of Years' (Appendix B) to give a sense of
the vast expanses of time involved. He tells of its forging 4869 years
ago in the Second Age, of Numenor, of the Last Alliance to defeat
Sauron, and of the taking of the Ring by Isildur and its loss at the
Gladden Fields (3018 years ago). About 555 years ago, Smeagol (Gollum)
finds the Ring. Around 77 years ago, Bilbo finds the Ring, and a mere 17
years ago Frodo inherits the Ring from Bilbo. There are several
references that give the impression that the Ring is a matter of dimly
remembered history, a rumour of an ancient menace from the distant past,
with the full details known only to a few High Elves. Legolas reveals
that he and the other Mirkwood elves did not know the full story of the
Ring. Boromir reveals several times that Gondor's lore has declined and
there is little memory of the true stories. As Elrond says at the
beginning of the Council: "Now, therefore, things shall be openly spoken
that have been hidden from all but a few until this day...", and later
we hear that "many eyes were turned to Elrond in fear and wonder" as he
told this tale.

iii) THE IDENTITY OF THE RING. Gandalf: "...what then is this one [Ring]
that [Sauron] desires so much?"

All the other Great Rings are accounted for and Gandalf was suspicious
of Bilbo's ring from the start, and set a guard to trap Gollum, but he
escaped. Gandalf let the matter lie for many years, lulled by the lies
of Saruman, but then his fears awoke again. Spies were gathering around
the Shire and Gandalf called for the aid of the Dunedain. Instead of
seeking a means to identify the Ring, Gandalf and Aragorn hunt for
Gollum. Gandalf eventually remembers a comment of Saruman's, and goes to
Gondor where he discovers Isildur's scroll. After interrogating Gollum
he learns that the Ring came from the Gladden Fields and gave Gollum
long life. Gandalf returns to the Shire and confirms that Frodo's Ring
is indeed the One Ring.

Gandalf declaring their peril: "...if [the Black Speech] is not soon to
be heard in every corner of the West, then let all put doubt aside that
this is indeed what the Wise have declared: the treasure of the Enemy,
fraught with all his malice; and in it lies a great part of his strength
of old. Out of the Black Years come the words that the Smiths of Eregion
heard, and knew that they had been betrayed:

'One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring
them all and in the Darkness bind them.'"

iv) THE HUNT FOR THE RING. Gandalf: "...the Enemy has been close behind,
closer even than I feared. And well is it that not until this year, this
very summer, as it seems, did he learn the full truth."

We learn that Sauron was looking for the Ring when he was driven out of
Dol Guldur 77 years ago. At some point after Bilbo finds the Ring (which
was around the same time), Gollum is captured by Sauron and reveals the
name Baggins and Shire, and that the Ring came from the Gladden Fields
and that it gave Gollum long life. About a year ago, a messenger came to
Dain with offers and threats to gain information concerning hobbits and
Rings. Then finally, something triggered Sauron's Hunt for the Ring.
Boromir reports that a dark shadow of fear defeated Gondor in Ithilien.
And Gandalf learns from Radagast and, later, the Eagles that the Nazgul
have crossed the River and are seeking a land called 'Shire'. Frodo
leaves the Shire just in time, and makes it safely to Bree. We now learn
of the movements of the Nazgul from Gandalf's story. Gandalf pursued the
Nazgul on Shadowfax and came to Crickhollow and Bree, but too late.
Finally he meets them in battle at Weathertop, and then flees in order
to draw the Nazgul away from Frodo and the Ring.

Gandalf concludes: "...the Enemy knows now that the One is found ...
already he may know, even as I speak, that we have it here."

v) THE FATE OF THE RING. Elrond: "The Ring! What shall we do with the
Ring, the least of rings, the trifle that Sauron fancies? That is the
doom we must deem."

The rest of the Council consists of a debate about what to do with the
One Ring. Discussion ensues about Bombadil, but concludes he is an
unsafe guardian for the Ring. Also, anyone keeping and not using the
Ring would only postpone the inevitable defeat by Sauron. Destruction
and sending it over the Sea are also proposed. The latter is rejected.
Casting it into the Sea is considered too short-term a solution and a di
fficult route anyway. Boromir and Gimli raise the option of using the
Ring or other Rings of Power, but this is rejected by the rest of the
Council. Elrond says what he at least knew all along and has said in his
history of the Ring: the Ring can only be destroyed in Mount Doom:

"Now at this last we must take a hard road, a road unforeseen. There
lies our hope, if hope it be. To walk into peril - to Mordor. We must
send the Ring to the Fire."

Bilbo is the first to volunteer, but he is told that the Ring has passed
on. After a long silence, Frodo volunteers to take the Ring. Elrond
approves this choice, and the chapter ends with Sam volunteering himself
as Frodo's companion.


Comments and thoughts [PART 2 ONLY]
=====================

1) Many of the realms of the Free Peoples are represented here. There
are people from the Shire and dwarves from Erebor. For Men (specifically
Numenoreans) there is: the leader of the Dunedain of the North (who is
also the Heir of Isildur); and the heir to Gondor, the kingdom of the
Dunedain of the South. The elven realms are represented by: the son of
the King of Mirkwood; a messenger from the Grey Havens; and counsellors
from Rivendell. Only Lorien is not represented at the council. The Lord
of Rivendell is present, as is an Istar from over the Sea. An impressive
list. Is the absence of representatives from Lorien and the other realms
of Men significant?

2) Concerning Gloin's report, what is this 'shadow of disquiet'?
Sauron's influence? The description of the dwarves of Erebor as 'penned
in' and unable to seek riches in the wider world reminds me of Melkor's
influence on the Noldor leading to them desiring to leave Aman. We also
see how Sauron's politics worked. We can imagine similar messengers and
embassies to other realms, bringing the Haradrim, Easterlings and
Southrons under Sauron's sway. The only one of Sauron's messengers we
hear from is the 'horseman in black' that speaks to Dain. This is a
chilling description where "his breath came like the hiss of snakes".
Who is this horseman? What does Gloin mean when he says that "ever
[Sauron] has betrayed us of old"?

3) The big talking point from Gloin's report is that Sauron knows that a
hobbit has a Ring. But why did the dwarves wait a year to tell Elrond?

Also, was Sauron's approach to Erebor for news of this hobbit a
strategic blunder or a calculated gamble? Sauron is revealing that he is
after this Ring, but this only matters if the Wise know about it. Surely
this approach by Sauron could have alerted the Wise to this important
matter?

Was the realm of Moria Sauron's to give? Is this related to Balin's
attempt to retake Moria, or was this a bluff?

4) We learn a lot about Sauron's intents and plans in this chapter, and
we also have a very rare and brief personal audience with him as he
defeats and is defeated by Elendil and Gil-galad. Are Elrond (and maybe
Gandalf) the only people at the Council to have met Sauron in person?
What else do we know about Sauron?

5) Elrond mentions that Isildur's death was "better than what else might
have befallen him". What is this a reference to?

6) Regarding the history of the Ring (of which few knew the full story),
was there a deliberate policy by the Elves of hiding the story of the
Rings of Power, or just a general fading away of ancient history?

7) Can anyone give a really satisfactory answer as to why Gandalf took
so long to realise what Bilbo's ring was, and why Gandalf waited for so
long to do anything?

8) Gandalf says that the Enemy did not learn the full truth until "this
very summer". This, it seems, is why Osgiliath was assaulted as a
diversion to allow the Nazgul to cross the River and begin their hunt
for the Ring. Gollum was captured, taken to Mordor and later released,
long before this (the previous year in fact). So what exactly was it
that finally prompted Sauron to declare his strength and send the Nazgul
forth to find the Ring?

9) Why did Gandalf speak to Aragorn first instead of Saruman? And even
more importantly, why didn't Gandalf flee immediately with Frodo when he
heard (from Radagast) that the Nazgul were seeking the Shire?

10) Gandalf's first speech ends with a clear conclusion that this is
indeed the One Ring. This is possibly the most dramatic moment of the
chapter. There is a sombre silence after this.

11) The seemingly desperate geopolitical situation is balanced by a
quote from Gandalf: "the power of Sauron is still less than fear makes
it." What are we supposed to make of this?

12) There is surprisingly little debate about how to combat the military
menace of Sauron. Why is the formation of another Last Alliance not
possible? There is also surprisingly little discussion of how destroying
the Ring might be the best way to achieve VICTORY. This is mainly
because Elrond says they are uncertain what the destruction of the Ring
will achieve. This is despite the earlier " [foundations of Barad-dur]
made with the power of the Ring" quote. Is this just a contradiction?

13) Do you agree with Gandalf's views on short-term versus long-term
risks? That the Council should not seek to safeguard themselves but seek
to make a "final end of this menace"?

14) Were the Council correct in their assessment of how the War would
go? Would Sauron's primary aim be to seize the Havens and trap the Elves
in ME?
And why does Galdor think the route back to the Havens is too perilous?
Is he under instructions from Cirdan to keep that Ring away?!

15) How would Elrond/Galadriel/Cirdan/Bombadil have resisted and hid the
Ring until the coming of Sauron at the last?

16) What is this nonsense from Gandalf, in response to Bilbo's offer to
take the Ring, about "messengers" to send with the Ring?

17) We know that Frodo becomes the Ringbearer, but what if no-one had
volunteered? Would anyone else have volunteered? Who and with what
consequences?

18) Did the Council make the right decision about the Ring? I'd have
cast the Ring into the Sea! :-)

Please add any other questions or points you wish to raise. I have had
to be brief in places and these posts are only meant to provide a
framework for the discussion, so please feel free to pick an episode
from this chapter and discuss it in more detail.

And don't forget to read the other two posts about this chapter!

Christopher

--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard

The Ring Verse:

Ash nazg durbatuluk
Ash nazg gimbatul
Ash nazg thrakatuluk
Agh burzum-ishi krimpatul

Stan Brown

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Apr 19, 2004, 9:23:24 PM4/19/04
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in
rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>5) Elrond mentions that Isildur's death was "better than what else might
>have befallen him". What is this a reference to?

I think he means dying a regular death was better than keeping the
Ring and becoming evil.

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com
Tolkien FAQs: http://Tolkien.slimy.com (Steuard Jensen's site)
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Stan Brown

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Apr 19, 2004, 9:28:15 PM4/19/04
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in
rec.arts.books.tolkien:
>17) We know that Frodo becomes the Ringbearer, but what if no-one had
>volunteered? Would anyone else have volunteered? Who and with what
>consequences?

I believe Aragorn would have volunteered, but without hope of
actually carrying it through. Boromir might, with the intent of
keeping it; but I think the Council would have said no.

The consequences of anybody taking it other than Frodo would have
been failure of the quest. Elrond says this near the end of the
Council: "I think that this task is appointed for you, Frodo; and
that if you do not find a way, no one will."

Joe

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Apr 20, 2004, 1:01:22 AM4/20/04
to

>
> 1) Many of the realms of the Free Peoples are represented here. There
> are people from the Shire and dwarves from Erebor. For Men (specifically
> Numenoreans) there is: the leader of the Dunedain of the North (who is
> also the Heir of Isildur); and the heir to Gondor, the kingdom of the
> Dunedain of the South. The elven realms are represented by: the son of
> the King of Mirkwood; a messenger from the Grey Havens; and counsellors
> from Rivendell. Only Lorien is not represented at the council. The Lord
> of Rivendell is present, as is an Istar from over the Sea. An impressive
> list. Is the absence of representatives from Lorien and the other realms
> of Men significant?
>

At this point it may be thought that Galdriels sojourn in ME was still
purgatorial (UT), and there remained her final test to prove that Fëanor's
evil did not lie upon her. Her objectivity would have been in question.


> 2) Concerning Gloin's report, what is this 'shadow of disquiet'?
> Sauron's influence? The description of the dwarves of Erebor as 'penned
> in' and unable to seek riches in the wider world reminds me of Melkor's
> influence on the Noldor leading to them desiring to leave Aman. We also
> see how Sauron's politics worked. We can imagine similar messengers and
> embassies to other realms, bringing the Haradrim, Easterlings and
> Southrons under Sauron's sway. The only one of Sauron's messengers we
> hear from is the 'horseman in black' that speaks to Dain. This is a
> chilling description where "his breath came like the hiss of snakes".
> Who is this horseman? What does Gloin mean when he says that "ever
> [Sauron] has betrayed us of old"?
>

Clearly he refers to the Seven and the fact they were taken.


>
> Was the realm of Moria Sauron's to give? Is this related to Balin's
> attempt to retake Moria, or was this a bluff?

I see no evidence Sauron was aware of the Balrog. Surely he would have made
use of it.
Also the Moria orcs prime task was to mine Mithril for Sauron?

>
> 4) We learn a lot about Sauron's intents and plans in this chapter, and
> we also have a very rare and brief personal audience with him as he
> defeats and is defeated by Elendil and Gil-galad. Are Elrond (and maybe
> Gandalf) the only people at the Council to have met Sauron in person?
> What else do we know about Sauron?
>

Glorfindel may have indeed dealt with him in the First Age.

> 5) Elrond mentions that Isildur's death was "better than what else might
> have befallen him". What is this a reference to?

To Isildur becoming a corrupted wraith of perhaps unimaginable evil.

>
> 6) Regarding the history of the Ring (of which few knew the full story),
> was there a deliberate policy by the Elves of hiding the story of the
> Rings of Power, or just a general fading away of ancient history?
>

One can imagine the surviving Noldo of Eregion smarting from yet another
failure to resist temptation.

> 7) Can anyone give a really satisfactory answer as to why Gandalf took
> so long to realise what Bilbo's ring was, and why Gandalf waited for so
> long to do anything?
>

From the point of view of a 'guiding hand' of events, it seems important
that the Ring face destruction only when Sauron's power was at maximum
extension against armed foes, his paranoia stoked to the maximum by the
anticipated appearance of a Champion of the West wielding his ring against
him.

So Gandalf's timing was matched to Sauron's preparations for war. I guess
it was as safe as anywhere in Bag End.

> 8) Gandalf says that the Enemy did not learn the full truth until "this
> very summer". This, it seems, is why Osgiliath was assaulted as a
> diversion to allow the Nazgul to cross the River and begin their hunt
> for the Ring. Gollum was captured, taken to Mordor and later released,
> long before this (the previous year in fact). So what exactly was it
> that finally prompted Sauron to declare his strength and send the Nazgul
> forth to find the Ring?
>

Time to complete renovations at Barad-dûr and pick new window treatments?

> 9) Why did Gandalf speak to Aragorn first instead of Saruman? And even
> more importantly, why didn't Gandalf flee immediately with Frodo when he
> heard (from Radagast) that the Nazgul were seeking the Shire?
>

Perhaps his subconcious already decided about Sauraman's treachery.

> 11) The seemingly desperate geopolitical situation is balanced by a
> quote from Gandalf: "the power of Sauron is still less than fear makes
> it." What are we supposed to make of this?

Take away his ability to provoke fear and he really ain't much.


>
> 12) There is surprisingly little debate about how to combat the military
> menace of Sauron. Why is the formation of another Last Alliance not
> possible? There is also surprisingly little discussion of how destroying
> the Ring might be the best way to achieve VICTORY. This is mainly
> because Elrond says they are uncertain what the destruction of the Ring
> will achieve. This is despite the earlier " [foundations of Barad-dur]
> made with the power of the Ring" quote. Is this just a contradiction?
>

The West no longer has a few hundred thousand armed combatants trained and
ready.
The uncertainty about the Ring's destruction, it must be recalled, centered
on the subsequent fate of the Three.

> 14) Were the Council correct in their assessment of how the War would
> go? Would Sauron's primary aim be to seize the Havens and trap the Elves
> in ME?
> And why does Galdor think the route back to the Havens is too perilous?
> Is he under instructions from Cirdan to keep that Ring away?!
>

Undoubtedly Sauron would desire to finally enslave the remnants of the
Noldor.

Cirdan is perhaps a customs inspection station for goods and persons
travelling to Valinor. A Ring of Power is certainly on the watch list.


> 15) How would Elrond/Galadriel/Cirdan/Bombadil have resisted and hid the
> Ring until the coming of Sauron at the last?
>

Besides the Power of the Three, Bombadil own inherent magic would keep evil
out of his realm. Goldberry's description of his power shows this.

> 16) What is this nonsense from Gandalf, in response to Bilbo's offer to
> take the Ring, about "messengers" to send with the Ring?
>

Ambassadors of the Free Peoples, standing to be counted.

> 17) We know that Frodo becomes the Ringbearer, but what if no-one had
> volunteered? Would anyone else have volunteered? Who and with what
> consequences?
>

Boromir would have leapt at the chance, with obvious consequences.

Aragorn would not have accepted the ring I think.

> 18) Did the Council make the right decision about the Ring? I'd have
> cast the Ring into the Sea! :-)
>

I guess your not a geologist then.


Celeborn's kind of pussy whipped, isn't he. Teleporno or not, there's no
way he's on Galadriel's level. She is the wisest and greatest Noldo there
ever was. Wouldn't she get bored with him? Why does she even need a
companion? What does he bring to the relationship?


@mindspring.com Bruce Tucker

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Apr 20, 2004, 12:24:46 PM4/20/04
to
"Joe" <j...@all.spammers.must.die.die.die.com> wrote

> > Was the realm of Moria Sauron's to give? Is this related to Balin's
> > attempt to retake Moria, or was this a bluff?
>
> I see no evidence Sauron was aware of the Balrog. Surely he would
have made
> use of it.

Assuming it was his to make use of. This is a matter of long dispute in
these newsgroups. Personally, I don't think the Balrog would have felt
bound to obey Sauron. perhaps the Ring might have helped him dominate
it.

And the orcs were aware of it, so I would think Sauron might be.

> > 4) We learn a lot about Sauron's intents and plans in this chapter,
and
> > we also have a very rare and brief personal audience with him as he
> > defeats and is defeated by Elendil and Gil-galad. Are Elrond (and
maybe
> > Gandalf) the only people at the Council to have met Sauron in
person?
> > What else do we know about Sauron?
>
> Glorfindel may have indeed dealt with him in the First Age.

I wondered about this, but I think probably not. We don't ever hear of
Sauron taking part in the wars of the First Age until he ventured forth
to take Tol Sirion, by which time Gondolin had long been hidden, and
Glorfindel with it. The only times they could have met after that were
at were the Nirnaeth Arnoediad (the Fifth Battle) and the fall of
Gondolin, and IIRC Sauron is not even mentioned as being present at
either; he may have been there in a supporting role, but I would think
if he had engaged in personal combat with an elven hero it would rate at
least a brief mention.

Of everyone present, it would seem that Elrond and Aragorn have by far
the most personal grudges against Sauron, although Galadriel might beat
them had she been present - after all, he was personally responsible for
the death of her brother and the torment of her daughter, although we
don't learn that in this chapter.

One interesting thing we learn is that Sauron still tries to put on the
fair-seeming face he wore of old as Annatar, Lord of Gifts, at least
through third-party ambassadors, but he seems unaware that even through
proxies he has lost the ability to do anything but indimidate. He still
has plenty of ability at that, of course. But no one buys his friendly
act any more. Those who back him do so because he appears to be the
likely winner (Saruman, when he actually does so) or because they are
bullied and browbeaten into doing so (the Orcs). His enemies are afraid
to resist him because they fear being the only ones to do so and having
the full force of his might fall on them while the other Free peoples
sit and do nothing.

> > 11) The seemingly desperate geopolitical situation is balanced by a
> > quote from Gandalf: "the power of Sauron is still less than fear
makes
> > it." What are we supposed to make of this?
>
> Take away his ability to provoke fear and he really ain't much.

Each of Sauron's foes feared being isolated and crushed by utterly
hopeless odds at Sauron's leisure as the others sat by helplessly. I
think Gandalf was trying to say tht Sauron didn't have this luxury. He
had fears and strategic problems every bit as vexing as theirs, and
those could be used against him. If his enemies worked together they
could accomplish much, and if not achieve ultimate victory through
military means, at least stave off defeat long enough to give hope for
victory through other means. And that's what happened, isn't it? After
all Sauron's forces didn't win a single campaign.

> > 12) There is surprisingly little debate about how to combat the
military
> > menace of Sauron. Why is the formation of another Last Alliance not
> > possible?

First, the level of trust and direct contradiction has dropped too much
since then - but we have to wait a few more chapters to see this for
ourselves. Second, what would be the point? Everyone concedes that an
attack on Sauron would be hopeless. Boromir attempts to start such a
discussion, but no one else has any interest in continuing it.

> > There is also surprisingly little discussion of how destroying
> > the Ring might be the best way to achieve VICTORY. This is mainly
> > because Elrond says they are uncertain what the destruction of the
Ring
> > will achieve. This is despite the earlier " [foundations of
Barad-dur]
> > made with the power of the Ring" quote. Is this just a
contradiction?

> The uncertainty about the Ring's destruction, it must be recalled,


centered
> on the subsequent fate of the Three.

Exactly. there's no uncertainty about the fact that it will lead to
total victory over Sauron.

> > 14) Were the Council correct in their assessment of how the War
would
> > go? Would Sauron's primary aim be to seize the Havens and trap the
Elves
> > in ME?

We never get to find out, because Suron never gets the chance to launch
his plan. The war as it plays out is an over-hasty response to events as
first Saruman and then Sauron perceive them, seeing the threat of the
Ring in the hands of a potential wearer moving close to their borders
and being forced to strike hard and fast at this immediate threat. The
Council is guessing what Sauron would have done had they chosen to
hunker down in Rivendell, Lorien, Minas Tirith, or some other refuge and
ride it out, and in such a scenario he may well have decided to cut off
their retreat first, since a main goal of his from the beginning was
seizing the Three and/or ensnaring their wearers.

> > 17) We know that Frodo becomes the Ringbearer, but what if no-one
had
> > volunteered? Would anyone else have volunteered? Who and with what
> > consequences?
>
> Boromir would have leapt at the chance, with obvious consequences.
>
> Aragorn would not have accepted the ring I think.

Someone would have to. Gandalf would not have taken it under any
circumstances - it would have violated his trust to take such a direct
role. In some ways I could see it being the responsibility of someone
with Noldorin blood such as Elrond or Glorfindel, but one of the themes
of the book is that the time for the Elves to take the fate of
Middle-earth into their hands was passing, and the time for Men to do so
had come. I think, Frodo declining, it must have been a Man, and that
Man could only be Aragorn - after all, it was his ancestor's failure
which got everyone into such a fix to begin with. And I cannot see
someone as devoted to duty as Aragorn shirking his in such a case, no
matter how much he felt the task was beyond him.

He would have taken it, and failed; the only question is, would
Providence have rescued him as it did Frodo? I think there's a chance it
would. Aragorn's heart was true. It just depends on the circumstances.
Would he be distracted and go to Rohan, Minas Tirith, or someplace where
he would be tempted to use the Ring? If so, all would be lost. Or would
he stay relatively undistracted and make it into Mordor? He's a Ranger,
he would certainly have both the skill and the will to do so, and having
taken the Ring for purely unselfish reasons, only to bear it because no
one else would except those who would use it for self-aggrandizement,
his corruption by the act of taking it would be no worse than Frodo's.
So I think it's possible he might get as far as Frodo, or at least
nearly so. But again, we'll never know, because that's not the book
Tolkien wrote. :-)

--
Bruce Tucker
disintegration @ mindspring.com


AC

unread,
Apr 20, 2004, 12:44:28 PM4/20/04
to
On Mon, 19 Apr 2004 23:04:13 GMT,
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

<snip>

You put a lot of work into this. Congrats!

>
> 1) Many of the realms of the Free Peoples are represented here. There
> are people from the Shire and dwarves from Erebor. For Men (specifically
> Numenoreans) there is: the leader of the Dunedain of the North (who is
> also the Heir of Isildur); and the heir to Gondor, the kingdom of the
> Dunedain of the South. The elven realms are represented by: the son of
> the King of Mirkwood; a messenger from the Grey Havens; and counsellors
> from Rivendell. Only Lorien is not represented at the council. The Lord
> of Rivendell is present, as is an Istar from over the Sea. An impressive
> list. Is the absence of representatives from Lorien and the other realms
> of Men significant?

I don't think so. It seems to me that Galadriel, Elrond and Gandalf (as the
chief players) were in close council, even from a distance. Galadriel
clearly knows all there is to know about Frodo's quest when they arrive at
Lorien, and her knowledge seems as intimate as Elrond's or Gandalf's.

> 4) We learn a lot about Sauron's intents and plans in this chapter, and
> we also have a very rare and brief personal audience with him as he
> defeats and is defeated by Elendil and Gil-galad. Are Elrond (and maybe
> Gandalf) the only people at the Council to have met Sauron in person?
> What else do we know about Sauron?

I would imagine that at least some oft he Noldor of Eregion survived the
Second Age and were residents of Rivendell or members of the Wandering
Companies. Certainly Elrond was the only survivor of the final battle at
the Siege of Barad-dur.

>
> 5) Elrond mentions that Isildur's death was "better than what else might
> have befallen him". What is this a reference to?

I think one only has to look at the Nazgul or Gollum to answer that.

>
> 6) Regarding the history of the Ring (of which few knew the full story),
> was there a deliberate policy by the Elves of hiding the story of the
> Rings of Power, or just a general fading away of ancient history?

It was quite clearly a deliberate policy. The Three were never talked
about at all. I suspect that one of the big reasons was shame that they had
ever fallen for Sauron's tricks.

>
> 7) Can anyone give a really satisfactory answer as to why Gandalf took
> so long to realise what Bilbo's ring was, and why Gandalf waited for so
> long to do anything?

Gandalf clearly had a lot of cares. The Ring itself was not primary among
them for much of his time in Middle Earth. Beyond that, we know full well
that Saruman had lulled the White Council into a false sense of security.
Even after Saruman had taken up residence in Orthanc and had become proud,
no one thought him a traitor.

The fact is that once Gandalf was certain that Bilbo's ring was indeed the
Ruling Ring, and not perhaps just some minor ring, he moved as quickly as he
could.

> 9) Why did Gandalf speak to Aragorn first instead of Saruman? And even
> more importantly, why didn't Gandalf flee immediately with Frodo when he
> heard (from Radagast) that the Nazgul were seeking the Shire?

He didn't yet distrust Saruman, though as I recall he did have some (at the
time) inexplicable misgivings.

>
> 11) The seemingly desperate geopolitical situation is balanced by a
> quote from Gandalf: "the power of Sauron is still less than fear makes
> it." What are we supposed to make of this?

Even when Sauron finally did attack Gondor, his strength wasn't as it could
have been. Sauron was still mustering his armies, and I suspect that if
Aragorn had not revealed himself in the Palantir, Sauron would have waited
longer.

>
> 12) There is surprisingly little debate about how to combat the military
> menace of Sauron. Why is the formation of another Last Alliance not
> possible?

The strength of Elves and Men was not as it was. Middle Earth had, during
the Third Age, fractured heavily along political lines. Many of the Noldor
had left, as well.

> There is also surprisingly little discussion of how destroying
> the Ring might be the best way to achieve VICTORY. This is mainly
> because Elrond says they are uncertain what the destruction of the Ring
> will achieve. This is despite the earlier " [foundations of Barad-dur]
> made with the power of the Ring" quote. Is this just a contradiction?

I think we're seeing a lot of long guesswork by the Wise. No one was quite
certain what the result would be, other than that Sauron would fall. They
weren't even sure that the Three would be rendered impotent, though Elrond
and Galadriel seem fairly certain that they will. The point made in the
Council, and later when the Captains of the West march to the Black Gate,
was that Sauron's permanent defeat was the goal, not the survival of any
political unit.

>
> 13) Do you agree with Gandalf's views on short-term versus long-term
> risks? That the Council should not seek to safeguard themselves but seek
> to make a "final end of this menace"?

It is made quite clear that Sauron would only grow stronger and that the
Free Peoples would only grow weaker. What would happen if they delayed, say
a year? By that time, Sauron's might would have reached a point where
Gondor would have fallen. Eriador, seemingly largely depopulated or at
least completely disorganized, would have fallen with great ease.
Strongholds like Rivendell, Lorien and the Lonely Mountain might have become
islands in a deadly sea.

In the end either Sauron would recapture the Ring or one of the Great would
have finally have given in to temptation and wielded it themselves.

>
> 14) Were the Council correct in their assessment of how the War would
> go? Would Sauron's primary aim be to seize the Havens and trap the Elves
> in ME?

I think as veangance and for the purposes of domination, I'm sure he would.

> And why does Galdor think the route back to the Havens is too perilous?
> Is he under instructions from Cirdan to keep that Ring away?!

I gather that the Wise figured this was one of the things Sauron might
expect. Even when the Hobbits leave the Shire, there is trouble in the
Southfarthing, so clearly agents of Saruman and Sauron were about. I
suspect that the direct and immediate risk of fleeing to the Havens would be
Saruman rather than Sauron, as Saruman would likely be the one to expect
such a move.

>
> 15) How would Elrond/Galadriel/Cirdan/Bombadil have resisted and hid the
> Ring until the coming of Sauron at the last?

We know Bombadil wouldn't have given a damn at all. As to the others, my
personal hunch is that they might not resist in the end, but would take up
the Ring in final despair.

> 18) Did the Council make the right decision about the Ring? I'd have
> cast the Ring into the Sea! :-)

And then it would likely have been found again at some time. In the
meantime, Sauron would still have achieved victory through military means.

--
Aaron Clausen
mightym...@hotmail.com

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Apr 20, 2004, 4:07:35 PM4/20/04
to
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien:
>> 5) Elrond mentions that Isildur's death was "better than what else
>> might have befallen him". What is this a reference to?
>
> I think he means dying a regular death was better than keeping the
> Ring and becoming evil.

But there is plenty of room to speculate here! With Sauron out of the
way, what would have happened to the Nazgul with respect to this new
Ringlord? Would Isildur have even become a Ringlord or would he become a
wraith or a Gollum-like figure? Would he have tried to use the Ring and
maybe even tried to dominate the Three?

What was Elrond's plan after seeing Isildur walk off with the Ring? I
know it as several months/years after the Orodruin scene, but maybe _he_
betrayed Isildur's position to the Orcs??

<feels faint>

That is the wildest speculation I've ever come up with!

Andy Cooke

unread,
Apr 20, 2004, 5:35:59 PM4/20/04
to
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
> Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
>
>>"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in
>>rec.arts.books.tolkien:
>>
>>>5) Elrond mentions that Isildur's death was "better than what else
>>>might have befallen him". What is this a reference to?
>>
>>I think he means dying a regular death was better than keeping the
>>Ring and becoming evil.
>
>
> But there is plenty of room to speculate here! With Sauron out of the
> way, what would have happened to the Nazgul with respect to this new
> Ringlord? Would Isildur have even become a Ringlord or would he become a
> wraith or a Gollum-like figure? Would he have tried to use the Ring and
> maybe even tried to dominate the Three?

If Isildur had survived ...
I don't think that he could have given up the Ring (although he stated
at the Gladden Fields that he intended to do so). As one of the
"Great", he could probably use the Ring - possibly as a "souped up"
version of one of the Nazguls' Rings. They became great sorcerers and
kings before being "wraithified".

But the most worrying thought is:
The Ring was, effectively, Sauron's anchor to Middle-Earth. If it was
in possession of one of the Great ... well, Sauron was a master of
necromancy. The Ring was (partly) Sauron. If Isildur fell under the
Ring's power, could Sauron have possessed Isildur and returned over a
thousand years early, controlling the King of the Dunedain?

> What was Elrond's plan after seeing Isildur walk off with the Ring? I
> know it as several months/years after the Orodruin scene, but maybe _he_
> betrayed Isildur's position to the Orcs??

Ooh!
<thinks about it a bit>

Nah. I reckon that Elrond would have worked on Isildur as much as he
could after Isildur arrived at Rivendell.

> <feels faint>
>
> That is the wildest speculation I've ever come up with!

Yeah. Thought-provoking, though.

--
Andy Cooke

@mindspring.com Bruce Tucker

unread,
Apr 20, 2004, 6:05:32 PM4/20/04
to
"Andy Cooke" <Andy_Cooke@SPAMTRAP_REMOVE_THISdsl.pipex.com> wrote
> Christopher Kreuzer wrote:

> > What was Elrond's plan after seeing Isildur walk off with the Ring?
I
> > know it as several months/years after the Orodruin scene, but maybe
_he_
> > betrayed Isildur's position to the Orcs??

That would have been insanely reckless. What if an Orc had recovered it?

> Nah. I reckon that Elrond would have worked on Isildur as much as he
> could after Isildur arrived at Rivendell.

I assume that must have been it. At most he might have tried to take the
Ring from him by stealth, or at some point when he was not surrounded by
soldiers and it could be done without killing or seriously hurting him.

Even then I am doubtful, though. I cannot imagine Elrond of all people
trying to take the Ring by violence. Remember that as a child Elrond had
seen many of his people slaughtered by the sons of Feanor in their
attempt to regain the Silmaril recovered by Beren and Luthien - can
anyone really imagine that Elrond would do the same thing to his
remaining friend and ally?

I suspect he may have hoped to wait until Isildur or some descendant
died and persuaded him or a future heir to give up the Ring rather than
passing it on to his son. What he would have done then, though, I don't
know, since Orodruin would have long since gone dormant.

Glenn Holliday

unread,
Apr 19, 2004, 10:05:33 PM4/19/04
to
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>
> Was the realm of Moria Sauron's to give? Is this related to Balin's
> attempt to retake Moria, or was this a bluff?

This could be used as evidence that Sauron did control the
Moria Balrog. If Sauron considered Moria one of his conquered
realms, it would be an obvious carrot to hold out.

However, Sauron's agent says only "the realm of Moria shall be
yours forever." I'm surprised he gave no proof that Sauron
truly had become lord of Moria. The Dwarves could have interpreted
this only as a promise to leave the Moria-Dwarves alone. But
Gloin's description seems clear to me they understood that
the messenger was offering Moria as a gift.

That could only be done if Sauron now possessed it. And if
Sauron did possess it, then we can't avoid the Balrog acting
as Sauron's lieutenant in Moria.

> 5) Elrond mentions that Isildur's death was "better than what else might
> have befallen him". What is this a reference to?

Isuldur fading under the influence of the Ring. Can you imagine
the impact of a King of Gondor becoming a Gollum?

> 6) Regarding the history of the Ring (of which few knew the full story),
> was there a deliberate policy by the Elves of hiding the story of the
> Rings of Power, or just a general fading away of ancient history?

The Three were secret. It would make sense to keep all Ringlore
quiet.

> 7) Can anyone give a really satisfactory answer as to why Gandalf took
> so long to realise what Bilbo's ring was, and why Gandalf waited for so
> long to do anything?

This will not look good on Gandalf's performance appraisal.

> 8) Gandalf says that the Enemy did not learn the full truth until "this
> very summer". This, it seems, is why Osgiliath was assaulted as a
> diversion to allow the Nazgul to cross the River and begin their hunt
> for the Ring. Gollum was captured, taken to Mordor and later released,
> long before this (the previous year in fact). So what exactly was it
> that finally prompted Sauron to declare his strength and send the Nazgul
> forth to find the Ring?

If I understand the timing of events, it was the capture of Gollum
that convinced Sauron he had solid information about the Ring.
The Nazgul were sent for it soon after that discovery (soon in
Maia-terms).

> 11) The seemingly desperate geopolitical situation is balanced by a
> quote from Gandalf: "the power of Sauron is still less than fear makes
> it." What are we supposed to make of this?

Sauron is powerful, and is probably ready to roll over Gondor,
but without the Ring it will take him time to cover all the West.

> 12) There is surprisingly little debate about how to combat the military
> menace of Sauron. Why is the formation of another Last Alliance not
> possible? There is also surprisingly little discussion of how destroying
> the Ring might be the best way to achieve VICTORY. This is mainly
> because Elrond says they are uncertain what the destruction of the Ring
> will achieve. This is despite the earlier " [foundations of Barad-dur]
> made with the power of the Ring" quote. Is this just a contradiction?

If the Ring is destroyed, victory is certain (with hindknowledge.
You suggest elsewhere that this might not be so certain at the
time of the Council.) But if the Ring is not destroyed,
the West does not contain enough might to win against
Sauron's armies. A different strategy is needed.

> 14) Were the Council correct in their assessment of how the War would
> go? Would Sauron's primary aim be to seize the Havens and trap the Elves
> in ME?

This rather surprised me. In the First Age, the Elves were good
at escaping traps and founding new Havens.

> 15) How would Elrond/Galadriel/Cirdan/Bombadil have resisted and hid the
> Ring until the coming of Sauron at the last?

I expect in the way Lothlorien hides successfully from Sauron, and
the way that Gondolin hid successfully for many years from Morgoth,
and perhaps in the way Melian protected Doriath. But eventually
Sauron would grow strong enough to overwhelm them.

> 18) Did the Council make the right decision about the Ring? I'd have
> cast the Ring into the Sea! :-)

Note that nobody has yet fished the Silmaril out of the Sea!

If the Valar were willing to support another solution, Gandalf
would have a clue about it. The Council chose the way most in
harmony with the Valar's counsel, as filtered through Gandalf.

-
Glenn Holliday holl...@acm.org


AC

unread,
Apr 20, 2004, 7:56:34 PM4/20/04
to
On Mon, 19 Apr 2004 22:05:33 -0400,
Glenn Holliday <holl...@acm.org> wrote:
> Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>>
>> Was the realm of Moria Sauron's to give? Is this related to Balin's
>> attempt to retake Moria, or was this a bluff?
>
> This could be used as evidence that Sauron did control the
> Moria Balrog. If Sauron considered Moria one of his conquered
> realms, it would be an obvious carrot to hold out.
>
> However, Sauron's agent says only "the realm of Moria shall be
> yours forever." I'm surprised he gave no proof that Sauron
> truly had become lord of Moria. The Dwarves could have interpreted
> this only as a promise to leave the Moria-Dwarves alone. But
> Gloin's description seems clear to me they understood that
> the messenger was offering Moria as a gift.
>
> That could only be done if Sauron now possessed it. And if
> Sauron did possess it, then we can't avoid the Balrog acting
> as Sauron's lieutenant in Moria.

Or Sauron could have been making an empty promise to gain the Ring. This is
a guy who posed as Annatar, Lord of Gifts for many years. He was not above
subterfuge. Once he had the Ring, I'm certain he would have given the
Dwarves of Erebor what they deserved for betraying Bilbo. The throne of
Durin likely wasn't on the list.

>
>> 5) Elrond mentions that Isildur's death was "better than what else might
>> have befallen him". What is this a reference to?
>
> Isuldur fading under the influence of the Ring. Can you imagine
> the impact of a King of Gondor becoming a Gollum?

Yeah! Just imagine the dinner parties. "Don't burnses the fisshhhh!"

>> 14) Were the Council correct in their assessment of how the War would
>> go? Would Sauron's primary aim be to seize the Havens and trap the Elves
>> in ME?
>
> This rather surprised me. In the First Age, the Elves were good
> at escaping traps and founding new Havens.

Where would they have gone? Gondor would have been defeated, and that would
have meant a big chunk of the coastline was gone. If the Havens were taken,
then that means that Sauron could probably march right into Lindon. I
suppose, if they sailed away, they might have established themselves in
England (as I recall that was a fragment of Beleriand).

--
Aaron Clausen
mightym...@hotmail.com

Shanahan

unread,
Apr 20, 2004, 10:01:15 PM4/20/04
to
>Joe wrote:
>>Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>> [...] the Grey Havens; and counsellors from Rivendell. Only Lorien is

not
>> represented at the council. The Lord of Rivendell is present, as is
>> an Istar from over the Sea. An impressive list. Is the absence of
>> representatives from Lorien and the other realms of Men significant?
>
> At this point it may be thought that Galdriels sojourn in ME was still
> purgatorial (UT), and there remained her final test to prove that
> Fëanor's evil did not lie upon her. Her objectivity would have been
> in question.

While there's no doubt that that's true, at least in Tolkien's earlier
conception of her character, it's not like she had a flashing red sign
above her reading "Do not trust until Ring has been rejected"! Anyway, I
doubt her past would have called her objectivity into question. No one at
this table had suspected Saruman; why would they be suspicious of
Galadriel? She is the greatest Noldo left on ME, and Elrond's
*mother-in-law*, for heaven's sake. [warning: sudden switch from
story-internal to story-external discussion] Why didn't Tolkien add her
in at the Council on one of his rewrites? I think it was because he
wanted to keep Lothlorien and Galadriel a mystery. It adds to their power
once the reader does encounter them. (that's why he keeps in the "strange
land" phrasing in Elladan&Elrohir's journey, too, I think.)

Re the absence of other realms of Men...maybe TPTB couldn't find anyone
else sensitive enough to dream the prophetic dream...maybe it was sent out
on a special Numenorean thoughtwavelength. <g> Or was this dream sent
by Ulmo, up the tendrils of the Anduin, and so only those close to the
Anduin could receive it?

> Also the Moria orcs prime task was to mine Mithril for Sauron?

Gandalf says that they "give it in tribute to Sauron, who covets it", but
whether mining is their prime task in Moria, or if it is, whether that
implies that Sauron has possession of Moria, is questionable. Gandalf
seems to imply that no mining is being done anymore, but he may not know
about all the Moria orcs' activities.

>> 9) [...] And even more importantly, why didn't Gandalf flee immediately


with
>> Frodo when he heard (from Radagast) that the Nazgul were seeking the
>> Shire?

This is something that has always bothered me. (Gandalf himself says he
never made a greater mistake; maybe that means we should seek an authorial
reason behind the decision.) The only explanation I can come up with is
that Gandalf knows the Ringwraiths will be severely handicapped by having
to search in an embodied form, in order to deal with the living. And so
perhaps he balances that against the urgency and lateness of Radagast's
message, and decides to take the risk. He must think that Frodo has some
time still, as his letter tells Frodo to get out of the Shire by August,
IIRC. (no, this explanation doesn't satisfy me, either)

- Ciaran S.
_______________________________________________
"I'm too old for this. I should be at home,
playing canasta with Radagast."
-mst3k, "Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell"

Shanahan

unread,
Apr 20, 2004, 10:38:46 PM4/20/04
to
>AC wrote:
>> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

> <snip>
> You put a lot of work into this. Congrats!

Seconded!

>> 4) We learn a lot about Sauron's intents and plans in this chapter,
>> and we also have a very rare and brief personal audience with him as
>> he defeats and is defeated by Elendil and Gil-galad. Are Elrond (and
>> maybe Gandalf) the only people at the Council to have met Sauron in
>> person? What else do we know about Sauron?
>
> I would imagine that at least some oft he Noldor of Eregion survived
> the Second Age and were residents of Rivendell or members of the
> Wandering Companies. Certainly Elrond was the only survivor of the
> final battle at the Siege of Barad-dur.

Cirdan, too, I think..."and by Gil-galad only Cirdan stood, and I."

- Ciaran S.
_________________________________________
"Thought you would have been here days ago,"
said the balding elf. "Any trouble along the way?"
"I could write a book," said Frito prophetically.
-bored of the rings


TeaLady (Mari C.)

unread,
Apr 20, 2004, 10:54:10 PM4/20/04
to
Glenn Holliday <holl...@acm.org> wrote in
news:40848569...@acm.org:

> Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>>
>> Was the realm of Moria Sauron's to give? Is this related to
>> Balin's attempt to retake Moria, or was this a bluff?
>
> This could be used as evidence that Sauron did control the
> Moria Balrog. If Sauron considered Moria one of his
> conquered realms, it would be an obvious carrot to hold out.
>
> However, Sauron's agent says only "the realm of Moria shall
> be yours forever." I'm surprised he gave no proof that
> Sauron truly had become lord of Moria. The Dwarves could
> have interpreted this only as a promise to leave the
> Moria-Dwarves alone. But Gloin's description seems clear to
> me they understood that the messenger was offering Moria as
> a gift.
>
> That could only be done if Sauron now possessed it. And if
> Sauron did possess it, then we can't avoid the Balrog acting
> as Sauron's lieutenant in Moria.
>

Still no proof that Sauron actually was in possession and could
give Moria to the Dwarves. He more likely was holding out a
golden (or mithril?) carrot - Sauron knew the Dwarves wanted
Moria, for a variety of reasons, one perhaps being the
connection to ancestors, and, of course, wealth. I wouldn't put
it past Sauron to offer something of value like Moria even if he
wasn't in possession of it. He was hoping the bait was strong
enough that they'd take the bait and turn over the Hobbit. The
Dwarves knew of Sauron's past lies and probably figured that
this was another one - and one that could very well bite them.
They also held Bilbo in high regard and it is unlikely, given
their habit of loyalty (not often abused) that they would have
told the agent where Bilbo could be found, even if they thought
the offer of Moria was real.

--
TeaLady / mari conroy

"The adjectivisation of our nounal units will be greeted with
disconcertion by elders" Simon on the status of English as she
is spake.

"Stated to me for a fact. I only tell it as I got it. I am
willing to believe it. I can believe anything." Sam Clemens

Stan Brown

unread,
Apr 21, 2004, 10:16:10 AM4/21/04
to
"Bruce Tucker" <"Bruce Tucker" <disintegration @ mindspring.com>>
wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:
[the Balrog of Moria]

>Assuming it was his to make use of. This is a matter of long dispute in
>these newsgroups. Personally, I don't think the Balrog would have felt
>bound to obey Sauron. perhaps the Ring might have helped him dominate
>it.
>
>And the orcs were aware of it, so I would think Sauron might be.

I'm not so sure. My impression has always been that the Orcs of
Moria were "free", not yet under the thumb of Sauron. I think if
Sauron were the ruler of Moria, he would have instructed the Moria-
Orcs to keep watch for the Company, and they would have been
captured at the West gate or soon after. Instead, the Company were
discovered only fortuitously, because Pippin made their presence
known.

Again, my understanding is that the Orcs of the Misty Mountains, who
were with the Uruk-hai when Pippin and Merry were captured, were
from further north -- specifically, that they were the same tribe
that Bilbo and Thorin tangled with in /The Hobbit/. They seemed to
be an ordered community, unlike the Moria-Orcs who seemed to be an
unorganized rabble. The northern Orcs were working for Saruman and
not Sauron, though I never did understand why they were working for
him.

Eventually, of course, Sauron would have spread his influence over
Moria and the rest of the Misty Mountains and brought all the Orcs
under his rule.

Stan Brown

unread,
Apr 21, 2004, 10:19:51 AM4/21/04
to
"Shanahan" <pog...@redsuspenders.com> wrote in
rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>Re the absence of other realms of Men...maybe TPTB couldn't find anyone
>else sensitive enough to dream the prophetic dream...maybe it was sent out
>on a special Numenorean thoughtwavelength. <g> Or was this dream sent
>by Ulmo, up the tendrils of the Anduin, and so only those close to the
>Anduin could receive it?

I think it's just that only Gondor and Arnor were Númenórean realms.
Aragorn in the North and Boromir and Faramir in the South were the
latest generation of leaders of their realms.

Why would only the Númenóreans be involved? Because the Númenóreans
were the descendants of the Three Houses of Men that had fought
beside the Elves against Morgoth. Thus they were in a sense a
"chosen people", even after losing Númenor -- they had a divinely
appointed mission to fight against Morgoth and his lieutenant
Sauron, in a way that the men of Dale and the Rohirrim did not.

Stan Brown

unread,
Apr 21, 2004, 10:21:32 AM4/21/04
to
"AC" <mightym...@hotmail.com> wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>I don't think so. It seems to me that Galadriel, Elrond and Gandalf (as the
>chief players) were in close council, even from a distance. Galadriel
>clearly knows all there is to know about Frodo's quest when they arrive at
>Lorien, and her knowledge seems as intimate as Elrond's or Gandalf's.

Later we learn that she and Elrond can communicate by telepathy. In
the chapter "Many Partings" they do it when physically present; but
the essay Osanwe-kenta explains that they can do it at a distance
too.

@mindspring.com Bruce Tucker

unread,
Apr 21, 2004, 10:46:50 AM4/21/04
to
"Alison" <news....@ntlworld.com> wrote

> On Tue, 20 Apr 2004 18:05:32 -0400, "Bruce Tucker" <disintegration @
> mindspring.com> wrote:

> >I suspect he may have hoped to wait until Isildur or some descendant
> >died and persuaded him or a future heir to give up the Ring rather
than
> >passing it on to his son. What he would have done then, though, I
don't
> >know, since Orodruin would have long since gone dormant.
>

> "A mortal who keeps one of the Great Rings does not die ..."

Oops. My mistake, wasn't thinking.

--
Endymion
disintegration @ mindspring.com


thestraw

unread,
Apr 21, 2004, 1:23:28 PM4/21/04
to
Andy Cooke <Andy_Cooke@SPAMTRAP_REMOVE_THISdsl.pipex.com> wrote in message news:<40859816$0$25237$cc9e...@news-text.dial.pipex.com>...
> Christopher Kreuzer wrote:

>>Would Isildur have even become a Ringlord or would he become a
> > wraith or a Gollum-like figure? Would he have tried to use the Ring and
> > maybe even tried to dominate the Three?

I think he would have become a wraith like the nazgul. This seems
consistent with what tolkein has said about the ring: that it would
give the bearer long life but would eventually make them permanately
invisible.

> If Isildur had survived ...
> I don't think that he could have given up the Ring (although he stated
> at the Gladden Fields that he intended to do so). As one of the
> "Great", he could probably use the Ring - possibly as a "souped up"
> version of one of the Nazguls' Rings.

Actually didn't he say at the Gladden Fields in UT that he couldn't
control the ring because he wasn't powerful enough and because it hurt
his hand too much(someone back me up on this please)?

> But the most worrying thought is:
> The Ring was, effectively, Sauron's anchor to Middle-Earth. If it was
> in possession of one of the Great ... well, Sauron was a master of
> necromancy. The Ring was (partly) Sauron. If Isildur fell under the
> Ring's power, could Sauron have possessed Isildur and returned over a
> thousand years early, controlling the King of the Dunedain?

If Sauron could control people wearing the ring, why would he be
afraid of Gandalf/Aragorn/Galadriel claiming the ring and challenging
him? Wouldn't he be able to just wait until they became thouroghly
enthralled by it and then control them?

And about Elrond waiting until Isildur died and passed the ring down,
Isildur couldn't die while in possesion of the ring. I don't know if
Elrond knew this or not but it wouldn't work.

AC

unread,
Apr 21, 2004, 1:54:05 PM4/21/04
to
On 21 Apr 2004 10:23:28 -0700,
thestraw <bniel...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> If Sauron could control people wearing the ring, why would he be
> afraid of Gandalf/Aragorn/Galadriel claiming the ring and challenging
> him? Wouldn't he be able to just wait until they became thouroghly
> enthralled by it and then control them?

It doesn't work like that, as both Gandalf and Elrond explain. For those of
sufficient might and will of their own, it is possible for them to master
the Ring. Sauron requires the Ring to dominate such powerful wills, without
it he cannot. That was the whole point of forging the Ruling Ring. Thus if
Gandalf were to claim the Ring and master it, my understanding is that it
would be for Sauron as if the Ring were destroyed. He would lose rapport
with the Ring, and would be rendered impotent.

There is a little ambiguity here. In the Letter, Tolkien speaks in terms of
a direct confrontation between Gandalf as Ring-wielder and Sauron, which he
then immediately qualifies by saying that such a confrontation was not
conceived. But I'm assuming that for one of the Great, like Gandalf, Elrond
or Galadriel, even at a distance, once they mastered the Ring, Sauron would
be shut out.

But even if it were mastered by a lesser individual, say Aragorn or
Denethor, Sauron would still not dominate them. How could he, without the
Ruling Ring? They would fade, yes, and become wraiths. They would still
hold the Ring and Sauron would not. He might not be rendered impotent by
Aragorn as Ring-wielder, but Aragorn would likely use the Ring to enhance
his own armies and to enforce his own policies absolutely, while
simultaneously filling Sauron's forces with dread. Sauron might remain
intact as such, but be driven off and isolated, unable to march against
Aragorn the Ring-wielder.

I have a hunch that in the latter scenario an eventual stale-mate would be
reached. Sauron, unable to recover the Ring, would still have sufficient
might to hole up somewhere, perhaps becoming like the Balrog in Moria.
Aragorn would fade, and I guess would essentially become like the Witch
King, a supernatural evil. The only difference is that the Witch King is
bound to Sauron by his ring, while I guess Aragorn would remain independent,
though horrifically corrupted, a tyrant to match or even best Ar-pharazon.

It's pretty clear that Sauron feared just this. When Aragorn revealed
himself to Sauron in the Palantir, Sauron lashed out quickly, before his
strength was full (which is why Minas Tirith likely survived). Sauron knew
that there would be a period of contention (remember Gandalf telling Saruman
that only one could wield the Ring), and then it would take time for the
ultimate victor to master the Ring sufficiently to drive back Sauron's
forces. Thus Sauron, believing Aragorn had or was going to claim the Ring,
needed to move as quickly as possible, to defeat Gondor and the Heir of
Elendil, or whoever won the Ring, before they could use it effectively
against him.

I can imagine two scenarios where Aragorn uses the Ring, that would have
both made frightening (though interesting stories).

In one, Aragorn does claim the Ring, and due to his own high Numenorean
stature, does master it before Sauron can get to him. Perhaps even the
Nazgul, ultimately compelled by the Ruling Ring, actually switch allegiances
(or, to put it another way, remain with the natural allegiance). Thus
suddenly Sauron's most frightening servants are now being used against
Sauron's armies. The armies of Gondor and its allies, dominated by the will
of Aragorn, amplified and corrupted by the Ring, become unstoppable, driving
back the Haradrim, Easterlings and Orcs, who in turn are filled with horror
and fear worse than that which drove Denethor to madness. Aragorn would
likely know better than to directly confront Sauron, so he might just
baricade him in Barad-dur, or Sauron might give up the ghost and flee,
hoping at some future date to recapture the Ring. In the meantime, Aragorn
becomes the King of the West of Middle Earth, his noble nature perverted so
that he becomes a tyrant in turn, using the Ring to dominate lesser wills.
Sort of a Bizarro-world Kingdom of the Dunedain. Effectively undying, he
becomes the Wraith King, evil and mighty.

The other scenario has Aragorn claiming the Ring, but Sauron's premature
strike wiping out the strength of Gondor. This I would say might be likely
as allies abandoned Aragorn when he left behind reason and righteousness by
taking up this supernatural evil. Thus Aragorn hides in the Rath Dinen,
fearful and in despair, as the Dark Lord himself leaves Barad-dur to seize
the Ring and gloat over his foes. Aragorn, not nearly strong enough to
contest Sauron, is rendered a mad thing, deprived of the Ring and forced to
see Sauron, Lord of the Rings once again, put it on in the very midst of the
last seat of his ancient foe; Numenor. I doubt Aragorn is slain, but he is
probably forced to spend the rest of his miserable life watching Sauron
wield the Ring. Could any torture be worse? Death would be a release.
Sauron, of course, is the unquestionable master of Middle Earth, or at least
a darn big part of it.

Somehow, I like Tolkien's story better.

--
Aaron Clausen
mightym...@hotmail.com

Shanahan

unread,
Apr 21, 2004, 12:53:19 PM4/21/04
to
>Stan Brown wrote:
>> "Shanahan" wrote :

>> Re the absence of other realms of Men...maybe TPTB couldn't find
>> anyone else sensitive enough to dream the prophetic dream...maybe it
>> was sent out on a special Numenorean thoughtwavelength. <g> Or
>> was this dream sent by Ulmo, up the tendrils of the Anduin, and so
>> only those close to the Anduin could receive it?
>
> I think it's just that only Gondor and Arnor were Númenórean realms.
> Aragorn in the North and Boromir and Faramir in the South were the
> latest generation of leaders of their realms.
> Why would only the Númenóreans be involved? Because the Númenóreans
> were the descendants of the Three Houses of Men that had fought
> beside the Elves against Morgoth. Thus they were in a sense a
> "chosen people", even after losing Númenor -- they had a divinely
> appointed mission to fight against Morgoth and his lieutenant
> Sauron, in a way that the men of Dale and the Rohirrim did not.

I agree completely. I was going to post something very similar to your
explanation, and then I thought, ok shanahan, you're arguing as if someone
had sent out *invitations* to this council, and they wondered beforehand
who to
invite . . . but is there anyone in the story sending out invitations?
Who's got the party list, besides Tolkien? I decided to post about the
invitation itself, and its possible mechanism of delivery. So our
discussions don't contradict each other.

Ancalagon The Black

unread,
Apr 20, 2004, 1:26:43 PM4/20/04
to
Bruce Tucker wrote:


>
> Assuming it was his to make use of. This is a matter of long dispute in
> these newsgroups. Personally, I don't think the Balrog would have felt
> bound to obey Sauron. perhaps the Ring might have helped him dominate
> it.
>
> And the orcs were aware of it, so I would think Sauron might be.
>

I don't think that Sauron was aware of the Balrog. When talking to Frodo
about the Ring and Gollum (this takes place in Bag End, while Sam is cutting
Frodo's hedges), Gandalf says that Mordor calls all evil things to itself.
Clearly this is an effect of Sauron's presence - the same thing happened in
Mirkwood. By this logic, the Balrog should have been drawn to Mordor,
but it wasn't. The Orcs were aware of it, but that's because they had to
live with it.

I think that in terms of coeval power and stature, the Balrogs and Sauron
were quite close, perhaps even equal - notice that in the First Age, all
of the Balrogs in Middle-Earth were under Melkor's *direct* command. None
of them were ever seconded to Sauron.

I doubt the Ring would have helped in this case, since the power in it was
Sauron's power to begin with. I think that in order to dominate the will
of a Balrog, Sauron would have to be of the stature of one of the Valar -
yet nowhere is it written that Melkor ever dominated the will of Gothmog
or the other Balrogs - they were seduced to his side.

Best,

--
Ancalagon The Black, Secret Fire Of Angband
ancalagon...@virgin.net


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Ancalagon The Black

unread,
Apr 20, 2004, 9:06:56 PM4/20/04
to
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:

> Comments and thoughts [PART 2 ONLY]
> =====================
>
> 1) Many of the realms of the Free Peoples are represented here. There
> are people from the Shire and dwarves from Erebor. For Men (specifically
> Numenoreans) there is: the leader of the Dunedain of the North (who is
> also the Heir of Isildur); and the heir to Gondor, the kingdom of the
> Dunedain of the South. The elven realms are represented by: the son of
> the King of Mirkwood; a messenger from the Grey Havens; and counsellors
> from Rivendell. Only Lorien is not represented at the council. The Lord
> of Rivendell is present, as is an Istar from over the Sea. An impressive
> list. Is the absence of representatives from Lorien and the other realms
> of Men significant?
>

Not really. Elrond, Glorfindel and maybe Erestor represent the Three Houses
of the Eldar: Vanyar, Noldor and Teleri. Other Men in the North of Middle-Earth
want the same as the Gondorians - to live in peace, free from the Shadow. Men
from the Harad and from Khand were under Sauron's sway anyway.


> 2) Concerning Gloin's report, what is this 'shadow of disquiet'?
> Sauron's influence? The description of the dwarves of Erebor as 'penned
> in' and unable to seek riches in the wider world reminds me of Melkor's
> influence on the Noldor leading to them desiring to leave Aman. We also
> see how Sauron's politics worked. We can imagine similar messengers and
> embassies to other realms, bringing the Haradrim, Easterlings and
> Southrons under Sauron's sway. The only one of Sauron's messengers we
> hear from is the 'horseman in black' that speaks to Dain. This is a
> chilling description where "his breath came like the hiss of snakes".
> Who is this horseman? What does Gloin mean when he says that "ever
> [Sauron] has betrayed us of old"?
>

This horseman appears to be one of the Nazgul. A Nazgul (possibly Khamul)
did exactly the same to Farmer Maggot ("A Shortcut To Mushrooms").


> 3) The big talking point from Gloin's report is that Sauron knows that a
> hobbit has a Ring. But why did the dwarves wait a year to tell Elrond?
>
> Also, was Sauron's approach to Erebor for news of this hobbit a
> strategic blunder or a calculated gamble? Sauron is revealing that he is
> after this Ring, but this only matters if the Wise know about it. Surely
> this approach by Sauron could have alerted the Wise to this important
> matter?
>
> Was the realm of Moria Sauron's to give? Is this related to Balin's
> attempt to retake Moria, or was this a bluff?
>

Sauron's approach to Erebor was a gamble - but I think he was forced into it.
He obviously heard all of the details concerning the fall of Smaug and the
resoration of the Dwarf kingdom - his spies would no doubt have been trawling
the streets of Dale for information. Bilbo's magic ring would no doubt have
been mentioned - or at least Bilbo's appearances out of thin air, and his
confrontation with Smaug, which wouldn't have lasted very long if he was visible.
Sauron therefore needed to pick up the trail, and the Dwarves were really his only
option.

Sauron tried to downplay the whole affair by making out that the Ring was merely a
trinket, but the sheer menace of the messenger made it a rather obvious lie.

I doubt Sauron intended giving Moria to anybody. He knew that Moria was infested
with Orcs - I can't see him clearing them out for the benefit of a few Dwarves.


> 4) We learn a lot about Sauron's intents and plans in this chapter, and
> we also have a very rare and brief personal audience with him as he
> defeats and is defeated by Elendil and Gil-galad. Are Elrond (and maybe
> Gandalf) the only people at the Council to have met Sauron in person?
> What else do we know about Sauron?

Elrond, Galadriel and Glorfindel were probably the most informed about
Sauron, since all had some kind of dealing with him (indirectly or otherwise)
in the First Age, and more so in the Second Age.

> 5) Elrond mentions that Isildur's death was "better than what else might
> have befallen him". What is this a reference to?

Eventually the Ring would have bent Isildur to its (Sauron's) will.

> 6) Regarding the history of the Ring (of which few knew the full story),
> was there a deliberate policy by the Elves of hiding the story of the
> Rings of Power, or just a general fading away of ancient history?

Of course. Information leads to questions, which lead to information,
which leads to more questions. The Eldar were obviously quite unwilling
to answer any hard questions.

> 7) Can anyone give a really satisfactory answer as to why Gandalf took
> so long to realise what Bilbo's ring was, and why Gandalf waited for so
> long to do anything?

I think there are a couple of factors. Gandalf had many cares, and at
that stage (when he discovers that Bilbo has a magic ring) it was of
little import. Obviously the Rings Of Power were not the only magic rings
ever made. Also, Gamdalf was not an expert in Ring lore - that was the domain
of Saruman. Thus, the alarm bells that would be ringing in the mind of an
expert were not yet ringing in Gandalf's mind.


> 12) There is surprisingly little debate about how to combat the military
> menace of Sauron. Why is the formation of another Last Alliance not
> possible? There is also surprisingly little discussion of how destroying
> the Ring might be the best way to achieve VICTORY. This is mainly
> because Elrond says they are uncertain what the destruction of the Ring
> will achieve. This is despite the earlier " [foundations of Barad-dur]
> made with the power of the Ring" quote. Is this just a contradiction?

The North Kingdom was long gone. The South Kingdom was waning. More Men were
falling under the sway of the Enemy. The Eldar are ensconced in small islands
in Middle-Earth - Imladris, Mithlond and Lorien. The Silvan Elves are in
Mirkwood or wandering wild in Middle-Earth. Many Noldor were slaughtered in
the Last Alliance, and many more passed over sea afterwards. The Dwarves had no
interest in the affairs of others. There was no foundation for an alliance of any
kind, so a stealth mission had to be executed. Is was a case of resisting militarily
for as long as possible and hope that the destruction of the Ring was effected.

>
> 13) Do you agree with Gandalf's views on short-term versus long-term
> risks? That the Council should not seek to safeguard themselves but seek
> to make a "final end of this menace"?
>

Yes. Destroying the Ring would put an end to Sauron once and for all.

> 14) Were the Council correct in their assessment of how the War would
> go? Would Sauron's primary aim be to seize the Havens and trap the Elves
> in ME?
> And why does Galdor think the route back to the Havens is too perilous?
> Is he under instructions from Cirdan to keep that Ring away?!

The Council were probably correct in this. Sauron would no doubt have
loved to have as many Elves as possible enslaved under his will. He of
course knew that a dead Elf would be re-embodied and would remain in
Valinor, out of his reach. Enslavement would be his revenge. And of
course he would regain the Three, which would be doled out to individuals
he would consider to me much more amenable to his will.

There seems to be an assumption that the Ring would not be permitted to pass
into the West. If such an attempt was made and failed, the Ring would still
have to be dealt with. By this time the journey to the Havens would become
known, so when the ship finally returned, the Havens would be surrounded by
the Enemy.


> 15) How would Elrond/Galadriel/Cirdan/Bombadil have resisted and hid the
> Ring until the coming of Sauron at the last?

No matter where the Ring ended up it would have been found, and its guardian(s)
destroyed. Having said that though, here's a slightly less risky mission: Send
a small party to the East Gate of Khazad-dum, enter in and cast the Ring into
the chasm. Once it settles at the bottom of all that water, which servant of Sauron
would go in after it?


> 17) We know that Frodo becomes the Ringbearer, but what if no-one had
> volunteered? Would anyone else have volunteered? Who and with what
> consequences?

Aragorn would be the logical choice, but there could be one other: Elrond, but
not to send the Ring to the Fire. Like his father before him, he
represents three kindreds: Elf, Man and Ainu. If the case were truly desperate,
and considering that the Valar really should have dealt with Sauron at the end
of the First Age, a journey into the West and an impassioned plea from Elrond
might convince the Valar to have Aule unmake the Ring.

> 18) Did the Council make the right decision about the Ring? I'd have
> cast the Ring into the Sea! :-)

Yes. Quite plainly they knew that the destruction of the Ring would
weaken Sauron to the point where he would be barely concious of the
world around him. As long as the Ring was whole, Sauron would be a
serious threat.

Shanahan

unread,
Apr 21, 2004, 10:34:05 PM4/21/04
to
>Ancalagon The Black wrote:
>> Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>> Comments and thoughts [PART 2 ONLY]
>> =====================
<snip>

>> 17) We know that Frodo becomes the Ringbearer, but what if no-one had
>> volunteered? Would anyone else have volunteered? Who and with what
>> consequences?
>
> Aragorn would be the logical choice, but there could be one other:
> Elrond, but not to send the Ring to the Fire. Like his father before
him, he
> represents three kindreds: Elf, Man and Ainu. If the case were truly
> desperate, and considering that the Valar really should have dealt with
Sauron
> at the end of the First Age, a journey into the West and an impassioned
plea
> from Elrond might convince the Valar to have Aule unmake the Ring.

As I read this, I was thinking...
Mandos: Wasn't your father just here, boyo? *And* your great-grandma?
I'm getting really tired of you people. No, you can't have any special
favors!

Seriously, I wonder if the Valar should have done anything more with
Sauron than they did. Should Ėonwė have chased him down and dragged him
off to Valinor? That would have been interfering with his free will.

Although I'm not saying the Valar are infallible. I rather like the idea
that they made a mistake in inviting the Elves to Valinor in the
beginning.

- Ciaran S.

AC

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 12:17:22 AM4/22/04
to
On Tue, 20 Apr 2004 18:26:43 +0100,
Ancalagon The Black <rohan....@virgin.net> wrote:
> Bruce Tucker wrote:
>
>
>>
>> Assuming it was his to make use of. This is a matter of long dispute in
>> these newsgroups. Personally, I don't think the Balrog would have felt
>> bound to obey Sauron. perhaps the Ring might have helped him dominate
>> it.
>>
>> And the orcs were aware of it, so I would think Sauron might be.
>>
>
> I don't think that Sauron was aware of the Balrog. When talking to Frodo
> about the Ring and Gollum (this takes place in Bag End, while Sam is cutting
> Frodo's hedges), Gandalf says that Mordor calls all evil things to itself.
> Clearly this is an effect of Sauron's presence - the same thing happened in
> Mirkwood. By this logic, the Balrog should have been drawn to Mordor,
> but it wasn't. The Orcs were aware of it, but that's because they had to
> live with it.

Oh, I'm pretty certain that Sauron knew very well who it was that had driven
the Dwarves from Moria.

>
> I think that in terms of coeval power and stature, the Balrogs and Sauron
> were quite close, perhaps even equal - notice that in the First Age, all
> of the Balrogs in Middle-Earth were under Melkor's *direct* command. None
> of them were ever seconded to Sauron.

They may have been of similar rank, but the impression I get of Sauron is
that he may very well have been one of the mightiest of the Maiar, maybe not
quite as powerful as Osse or Eonwe, but certainly up there. The Balrogs
certainly were terrors, but you never hear of any returning after death,
while Sauron managed to do it twice.

>
> I doubt the Ring would have helped in this case, since the power in it was
> Sauron's power to begin with. I think that in order to dominate the will
> of a Balrog, Sauron would have to be of the stature of one of the Valar -
> yet nowhere is it written that Melkor ever dominated the will of Gothmog
> or the other Balrogs - they were seduced to his side.

Ummm. I think we only have to ponder Tolkien's musings about a
confrontation between Gandalf bearing the Ring against Sauron. I am
assuming that Gandalf and the Balrog may be of similar stature, and thus I
bet that the Balrog with the Ring might pose a very big problem for Sauron.

--
Aaron Clausen
mightym...@hotmail.com

Henriette

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 5:26:58 AM4/22/04
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message news:<bqfhc.3980$kc6.37...@news-text.cableinet.net>...

>
> <feels faint>
>
> That is the wildest speculation I've ever come up with!
>
LOL! Tamf, look how 'your' expression gets increasingly popular!

Henriette

Henriette

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 5:40:42 AM4/22/04
to
"Joe" <j...@all.spammers.must.die.die.die.com> wrote in message news:<C82hc.184465$Ig.112520@pd7tw2no>...
> (snip)
> Celeborn (snip)there's no way he's on Galadriel's level. (snip)

> Wouldn't she get bored with him? Why does she even need a
> companion? What does he bring to the relationship?

LOL! That's what I've always been wondering.

Henriette

Henriette

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 6:04:59 AM4/22/04
to
AC <mightym...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:

> On Mon, 19 Apr 2004 23:04:13 GMT,
> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
> You put a lot of work into this. Congrats!

Yes, Christopher, very well done! This is the way a chapter
(especially this one) should be dealt with. I wonder though, if we
don't need more time for these 3 threads. I can tell you already, I
will not participate in next week's thread. I need more time to work
these three out. Can't we stop with new threads for one or two weeks?

> > 5) Elrond mentions that Isildur's death was "better than what else might
> > have befallen him". What is this a reference to?
>
> I think one only has to look at the Nazgul or Gollum to answer that.
>

Yes. This point appears to be quite obvious to many posters.

> >
> > 6) Regarding the history of the Ring (of which few knew the full story),
> > was there a deliberate policy by the Elves of hiding the story of the
> > Rings of Power, or just a general fading away of ancient history?
>
> It was quite clearly a deliberate policy. The Three were never talked
> about at all. I suspect that one of the big reasons was shame that they had
> ever fallen for Sauron's tricks.
>

I like Glenn Holiday's answer: 'The Three were secret. It would make
sense to keep all Ringlore quiet'.

> > 15) How would Elrond/Galadriel/Cirdan/Bombadil have resisted and hid the
> > Ring until the coming of Sauron at the last?
>

> We know Bombadil wouldn't have given a damn at all.(snip)

Yes.

At a certain point Elrond says about Bombadil: "He is a strange
creature". To this I can only say that I find *Elrond* a strange
creature, and I wonder what Galadriel sees in him.

Elrond mentions a few other names of Tom Bombadil: Iarwain Ben-adar,
Forn, Orald, and he says he has been given other names. Do we know
these names, or do we have another subject here for wild
speculation?:-)



> > 18) Did the Council make the right decision about the Ring? I'd have
> > cast the Ring into the Sea! :-)
>

> And then it would likely have been found again at some time.(snip)

I also might have cast it into the Sea, but very rightly AC and many
other posters explain that would have been a temporary solution only.

Henriette

Henriette

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 6:12:21 AM4/22/04
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message news:
>
> (snip)What else do we know about Sauron?

He is very wise. You don't believe me? Don't take my word for it: ask
Gandalf! He says so near the end of the Council. I find this a very
strange remark.

Henriette

Michelle J. Haines

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 9:33:57 AM4/22/04
to
In article <be50318e.04042...@posting.google.com>,
held...@hotmail.com says...

>
> At a certain point Elrond says about Bombadil: "He is a strange
> creature". To this I can only say that I find *Elrond* a strange
> creature, and I wonder what Galadriel sees in him.

Her son-in-law? A guy who might be young-ish compared to her, but
has still been kicking around a long time? The father of her
grandchildren?

Not sure what you mean about what Galadriel sees in him.

Michelle
flutist

--
Drift on a river, That flows through my arms
Drift as I'm singing to you
I see you smiling, So peaceful and calm
And holding you, I'm smiling, too
Here in my arms, Safe from all harm
Holding you, I'm smiling, too
-- For Xander [9/22/98 - 2/23/99]

ste...@nomail.com

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 11:17:00 AM4/22/04
to
In rec.arts.books.tolkien Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
: "Bruce Tucker" <"Bruce Tucker" <disintegration @ mindspring.com>>
: wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:
: [the Balrog of Moria]
:>Assuming it was his to make use of. This is a matter of long dispute in
:>these newsgroups. Personally, I don't think the Balrog would have felt
:>bound to obey Sauron. perhaps the Ring might have helped him dominate
:>it.
:>
:>And the orcs were aware of it, so I would think Sauron might be.

: I'm not so sure. My impression has always been that the Orcs of
: Moria were "free", not yet under the thumb of Sauron. I think if
: Sauron were the ruler of Moria, he would have instructed the Moria-
: Orcs to keep watch for the Company, and they would have been
: captured at the West gate or soon after. Instead, the Company were
: discovered only fortuitously, because Pippin made their presence
: known.

"'There are Orcs, very many of them, ' he [Aragorn] said. 'And
some are large and evil; black Uruks of Mordor.'"

So there were Mordor Orcs in Moria. I suppose they could have
been renegades, or just on vacation. Sauron also may not have
had any means of contacting them that quickly. It is never
clear if, when, or how Sauron was aware that the company had
entered Moria and what he might have done with that knowledge.

As an aside, some of the orcs are large and evil. Clearly that
means that some of the orcs were not large. Does it also mean
that some were not evil? :) Were their medium-sized neutral orcs
present, and maybe even a good little orc or two? :)

Stephen

ste...@nomail.com

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 11:20:01 AM4/22/04
to
In rec.arts.books.tolkien Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:
: "Joe" <j...@all.spammers.must.die.die.die.com> wrote in message news:<C82hc.184465$Ig.112520@pd7tw2no>...

His name at one point was "Teleporno". I think that explains
what he brought to the relationship. :)

Stephen

AC

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 11:29:03 AM4/22/04
to
On 22 Apr 2004 15:17:00 GMT,
ste...@nomail.com <ste...@nomail.com> wrote:
>
> "'There are Orcs, very many of them, ' he [Aragorn] said. 'And
> some are large and evil; black Uruks of Mordor.'"
>
> So there were Mordor Orcs in Moria. I suppose they could have
> been renegades, or just on vacation. Sauron also may not have
> had any means of contacting them that quickly. It is never
> clear if, when, or how Sauron was aware that the company had
> entered Moria and what he might have done with that knowledge.

Well, I think we can dismiss any notion that Sauron did not know what
Durin's Bane was.

--
Aaron Clausen
mightym...@hotmail.com

Dirk Thierbach

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 11:19:57 AM4/22/04
to
Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:

> "Joe" <j...@all.spammers.must.die.die.die.com> wrote:
>> (snip)
>> Celeborn (snip)there's no way he's on Galadriel's level. (snip)
>> Wouldn't she get bored with him? Why does she even need a
>> companion? What does he bring to the relationship?

> LOL! That's what I've always been wondering.

I remember reading a theory somewhere that Celeborn is really "dumbed
down" to increase the contrast to Galadriel and make her look better.
Maybe in Shippey, "The Road to Middle-Earth"? I cannot remember.

At least, this has been observed by others, too :-)

- Dirk

Dirk Thierbach

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 11:22:46 AM4/22/04
to
Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:

> Elrond mentions a few other names of Tom Bombadil: Iarwain Ben-adar,
> Forn, Orald, and he says he has been given other names. Do we know
> these names, or do we have another subject here for wild
> speculation?:-)

AFAIK, we don't know any others. However, we know what some of them
mean: "Iarwain Ben-adar" = "Oldest Without-Father" (or quite similar),
"Orald" > german "Ur-Alt" = "very old". I would guess the other names
are a variation of the same theme :-)

- Dirk

the softrat

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 7:02:59 PM4/22/04
to

JRR didn't mention it because he was Catholic.

Does the term 'logging truck' bring anything to mind?

the softrat
"I feel like I'm beating my head against a dead horse."
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--
Arguing on the Internet is like running in the Special Olympics. No
matter if you win or lose you're still retarded.

Shanahan

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 7:50:40 PM4/22/04
to

Here I go again...
The OED lists 8 meanings for the adjective "wise", of which the 2nd
meaning is obsolete and archaic (sounds like our boy... influenced the way
Tolkien used the word?):
2. a. Having practical understanding and ability; skilful, clever;
skilled, expert (const. of). Obs.

This definition resonates with the rest of the sentence you cite: "and
weighs all things to a nicety in the scales of his malice. But the only
measure that he knows is desire, desire for power; and so he judges all
hearts." Gandalf implies that Sauron's "wisdom" is mere pragmatism,
skilled and expert, but severely limited in a moral sense. He makes
Sauron sound like a baker with his thumb on the scales.

The remark "He is very wise" is part of an ironic rhetorical device which
Gandalf uses to convince the table that the Ring must go to the Fire. He
contrasts wisdom and folly, and says that the Council must, in essence,
choose folly over wisdom. What Erestor calls 'folly' will be their
"cloak, a veil before the eyes of the Enemy".[1]
Good guys/Our plan/"folly", vs. Bad guys/Evil plan/"wisdom".

- Ciaran S.
[1] Why "eyes" and not "eye"?

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 8:07:28 PM4/22/04
to
Shanahan <pog...@redsuspenders.com> wrote:

[on the meaning of wise in Gandalf's comment on Sauron]

I was going to point this out... :-(
But you did it much better!

> The remark "He is very wise" is part of an ironic rhetorical device
> which Gandalf uses to convince the table that the Ring must go to the
> Fire. He contrasts wisdom and folly, and says that the Council must,
> in essence, choose folly over wisdom. What Erestor calls 'folly'
> will be their "cloak, a veil before the eyes of the Enemy".[1]
> Good guys/Our plan/"folly", vs. Bad guys/Evil plan/"wisdom".

I would call it seeming folly. It is really wisdom, but of a higher
order.

> [1] Why "eyes" and not "eye"?

The Enemy had many eyes working for him. Spies.

Ancalagon The Black

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 8:49:27 PM4/22/04
to
Shanahan wrote:


> As I read this, I was thinking...
> Mandos: Wasn't your father just here, boyo? *And* your great-grandma?
> I'm getting really tired of you people. No, you can't have any special
> favors!
>
> Seriously, I wonder if the Valar should have done anything more with

> Sauron than they did. Should Ëonwë have chased him down and dragged him


> off to Valinor? That would have been interfering with his free will.
>
> Although I'm not saying the Valar are infallible. I rather like the idea
> that they made a mistake in inviting the Elves to Valinor in the
> beginning.

I think they should have grabbed Sauron. It was Sauron who came to Eonwe
seeking pardon. Since Sauron was not slain in the War of Wrath (like the
Balrogs), it should have been obvious that he was in a position of command,
and therefore should have been arrested and put on trial as Melkor's
co-conspirator.

If Sauron were just dealing with the Eldar, the balance of power would not
have been so skewed - after all Elves are immortal too. Men are not, and where
Elves pass knowledge on to the following generations, Men can only pass on
memories. It is as Hurin said to Turgon, where the Eldar can wait for some far
off day to face their enemy, by that time many generations of Men would be buried in
the grass.

As for leaving the Elves in Middle-Earth? There would have been no Silmarils, no
Seeing-Stones, no Oath, no Curse and no Numenor...how much of Ea did Eru leave to
chance?

BTW, what keymap do you use to get the right characters to spell "Eonwe" properly?

Best,

--
Ancalagon The Black, Secret Fire Of Angband
ancalagon...@virgin.net


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Ancalagon The Black

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 9:47:52 PM4/22/04
to
AC wrote:


> Oh, I'm pretty certain that Sauron knew very well who it was that had driven
> the Dwarves from Moria.
>

I'll only go as far as to say that he made a well-educated guess. After all it
was a Dragon drove the Dwarves from Erebor. While it is true that Dragons like
to make their presence known, and therefore Sauron would have known about a
Dragon in Moria, don't forget that there were creatures in Middle-Earth that
even Sauron didn't know about - they were older than him. Gandalf said as much
after the encounter with the Watcher at the West Wall of Khazad-dum.

On a related note, *how* did the Balrog drive all of those Dwarves from Moria by
itself? Surely a few well-aimed axes would have dealt with it? They seemed
to work well enough against Glaurung. Or was Moria not fully populated (by
Dwarves) at that time?

Hypothetical question: Did the Balrog have the Orcs of Moria under its command?
I'd guess not by the way they were behaving - they seemed to do their own
thing, including the border raids on Lorien. Also, the Orcs of Mount Gundabad
do not come into the LOTR - were they active? Do you have an opinion on this?


> They may have been of similar rank, but the impression I get of Sauron is
> that he may very well have been one of the mightiest of the Maiar, maybe not
> quite as powerful as Osse or Eonwe, but certainly up there. The Balrogs
> certainly were terrors, but you never hear of any returning after death,
> while Sauron managed to do it twice.


I think the problem with trying to give rank to the Maiar is that none of them
seem to do the same things or think along the same lines, and therefore apply
themselves in different ways, even though it is quite conceivable that they
have near-equal latent power.

As an example, while a Balrog and Sauron *could* have the same latent power,
Balrogs never seemed interested in the sort of conniving and scheming and
sorcery that Sauron made his forte, just war and destruction. The Balrogs
seemed more closely related to Arien, "physically".

It is possible that Sauron, Olorin (Gandalf) and Curumo (Saruman) were of equal
or near-equal latent power (originally), but applied themselves in different
ways.

Sauron was very powerful indeed - even after losing his body and losing the
Ring, he was still able to re-embody himself and dominate the wills of the
Nazgul.

As for Gandalf and Saruman: "Who would go? For they must be mighty, peers of
Sauron, but must forgo might, and clothe themselves in flesh so as to treat on
equality and win the trust of Elves and Men. But this would imperil them,
dimming their wisdom and knowledge, and confusing them with fears, cares and
wearinesses coming fom the flesh."

While it is doubtful that simply clothing themselves in flesh would dim their
knowledge (it never affected Sauron, or Morgoth for that matter), it is quite
plain (at least to me) that the two Wizards were originally on a par with
Sauron, and it was the parameters of their mission that limited their
capabilities.

And what of Melian? Her daughter handed Sauron his ass, and made Morgoth look
silly, so the mother must have been something quite tasty, unless there was
some kind multiplication factor when Elves and Ainu breed.

> Ummm. I think we only have to ponder Tolkien's musings about a
> confrontation between Gandalf bearing the Ring against Sauron. I am
> assuming that Gandalf and the Balrog may be of similar stature, and thus I
> bet that the Balrog with the Ring might pose a very big problem for Sauron.
>

I do agree wholeheartedly that if the Balrog got hold of the Ring, Sauron's time
in Middle-Earth would effectively be over. Having said that though, it would
be debatable what would happen to everyone else. If the Ring was effectively a
part of Sauron, then the Balrog would not only grow in stature but also in
knowledge and malice (if that were possible - they were bad enough already),
and become even worse than the Ring's former master.

If the Ring merely increased the Balrog's stature and nothing else, then it
comes back to what I was saying about application and mindset. The Balrog
would be even more destructive, but I reckon a large enough Alliance of Elves,
Men and Dwarves would be able to defeat it - even the Orcs might side against
it.

Ancalagon The Black

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 9:56:39 PM4/22/04
to
Glenn Holliday wrote:

>
> Isuldur fading under the influence of the Ring. Can you imagine
> the impact of a King of Gondor becoming a Gollum?
>

He wouldn't - he would be closer in stature to one of the Nazgul, except that he
would be slaved directly to the One. Eventually it would betray him to Sauron,
since he couldn't master it - but depending on what use he got out of it before
that happened, he may have ended up mightier than the Witch-King.

Ancalagon The Black

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 10:12:44 PM4/22/04
to
AC wrote:


>
> In one, Aragorn does claim the Ring, and due to his own high Numenorean
> stature, does master it before Sauron can get to him. Perhaps even the
> Nazgul, ultimately compelled by the Ruling Ring, actually switch allegiances
> (or, to put it another way, remain with the natural allegiance). Thus
> suddenly Sauron's most frightening servants are now being used against
> Sauron's armies. The armies of Gondor and its allies, dominated by the will
> of Aragorn, amplified and corrupted by the Ring, become unstoppable, driving
> back the Haradrim, Easterlings and Orcs, who in turn are filled with horror
> and fear worse than that which drove Denethor to madness. Aragorn would
> likely know better than to directly confront Sauron, so he might just
> baricade him in Barad-dur, or Sauron might give up the ghost and flee,
> hoping at some future date to recapture the Ring. In the meantime, Aragorn
> becomes the King of the West of Middle Earth, his noble nature perverted so
> that he becomes a tyrant in turn, using the Ring to dominate lesser wills.
> Sort of a Bizarro-world Kingdom of the Dunedain. Effectively undying, he
> becomes the Wraith King, evil and mighty.

Interesting scenario, but as we know, Aragorn is mortal flesh. The stature of
his spirit is weak enough that the portion of Sauron's power in the Ring would
simply overwhelm him - kind of related to why the Numenoreans were barred from
Aman and Tol Eressea. He would never be able to make use of its full
capabilities. At least that's what I think.

>
> The other scenario has Aragorn claiming the Ring, but Sauron's premature
> strike wiping out the strength of Gondor. This I would say might be likely
> as allies abandoned Aragorn when he left behind reason and righteousness by
> taking up this supernatural evil. Thus Aragorn hides in the Rath Dinen,
> fearful and in despair, as the Dark Lord himself leaves Barad-dur to seize
> the Ring and gloat over his foes. Aragorn, not nearly strong enough to
> contest Sauron, is rendered a mad thing, deprived of the Ring and forced to
> see Sauron, Lord of the Rings once again, put it on in the very midst of the
> last seat of his ancient foe; Numenor. I doubt Aragorn is slain, but he is
> probably forced to spend the rest of his miserable life watching Sauron
> wield the Ring. Could any torture be worse? Death would be a release.
> Sauron, of course, is the unquestionable master of Middle Earth, or at least
> a darn big part of it.


This is the more likely scenario - Aragorn falls, as Isildur fell before him.
Sauron comes and claims his own. Gives Gondor to the Balrog as a dowry for its
help. Game over.

AC

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 10:20:10 PM4/22/04
to
On Fri, 23 Apr 2004 03:12:44 +0100,
Ancalagon The Black <rohan....@virgin.net> wrote:
>
> This is the more likely scenario - Aragorn falls, as Isildur fell before him.
> Sauron comes and claims his own. Gives Gondor to the Balrog as a dowry for its
> help. Game over.

Dowry? Brrrrrrr...

--
Aaron Clausen
mightym...@hotmail.com

Shanahan

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 10:42:43 PM4/22/04
to
>"Ancalagon The Black" <rohan....@virgin.net> wrote in message
> news:40886...@127.0.0.1...
>>Shanahan wrote:
<snip myself>

>> Although I'm not saying the Valar are infallible. I rather like the
idea
>> that they made a mistake in inviting the Elves to Valinor in the
>> beginning.

> As for leaving the Elves in Middle-Earth? There would have been no


Silmarils, no
> Seeing-Stones, no Oath, no Curse and no Numenor...how much of Ea did Eru
leave to > chance?

True--as the man says of the children of Indis, "If they had not lived,
the history of the Eldar would have been diminished." But, was Eru
involved in inviting the Quendi to Valinor? I thought it was just the
Valar's idea. And I think I remember that it's seen as a mistake, in
Silm. or UT somewhere (maybe by Ulmo?).

>BTW, what keymap do you use to get the right characters to spell "Eonwe"
properly?

I use the Alt/NumPad sequences that I get from the character map function
in System Tools (Windoze, OE w/QuoteFix). I made myself a cheat sheet of
the ones I wanted to use. I'm glad to see they came through okay!

- Ciaran S.

Ancalagon The Black

unread,
Apr 23, 2004, 3:44:41 PM4/23/04
to
AC wrote:

>
> Dowry? Brrrrrrr...
>

Why not? After all, Arien was of female temperament, so why couldn't a Balrog
be female, even though they are referred to as "it"? I can envision the
wedding reception - a LARGE barbecue on the slopes of Orodruin, and a display
of fire walking. The Mouth Of Sauron would be the best man - at least he
wouldn't have to worry about losing the ring...;-)

Öjevind Lång

unread,
Apr 23, 2004, 6:46:33 PM4/23/04
to
"AC" <mightym...@hotmail.com> skrev i meddelandet
news:slrnc8gvaq.2d4....@alder.alberni.net...

> On Fri, 23 Apr 2004 03:12:44 +0100,
> Ancalagon The Black <rohan....@virgin.net> wrote:
> >
> > This is the more likely scenario - Aragorn falls, as Isildur fell before
him.
> > Sauron comes and claims his own. Gives Gondor to the Balrog as a dowry
for its
> > help. Game over.
>
> Dowry? Brrrrrrr...

And then they had a son called Balrogion.

Öjevind


Glenn Holliday

unread,
Apr 23, 2004, 7:44:17 PM4/23/04
to
Shanahan wrote:
>
> Here I go again...
> The OED lists 8 meanings for the adjective "wise", of which the 2nd
> meaning is obsolete and archaic (sounds like our boy... influenced the way
> Tolkien used the word?):

Wonder if that's one of the meanings Tolkien edited for the OED?

--
Glenn Holliday holl...@acm.org

Flame of the West

unread,
Apr 24, 2004, 1:40:48 AM4/24/04
to
"Öjevind Lång" <dnivej...@swipnet.se> wrote in message news:

> And then they had a son called Balrogion.

With huge wings and one big eye.

Right?


-- FotW

"If you must read newspapers and magazines at least
give yourself a mouthwash with The Lord of the Rings."

-- C.S. Lewis

Henriette

unread,
Apr 24, 2004, 3:00:41 AM4/24/04
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message news:<47Zhc.1473$tG6.12...@news-text.cableinet.net>...

> Shanahan <pog...@redsuspenders.com> wrote:
>
> [on the meaning of wise in Gandalf's comment on Sauron]
>
> I was going to point this out... :-(
> But you did it much better!

Except that you probably would not have started with: "Here I go again.......".

Henriette

Henriette

unread,
Apr 24, 2004, 3:50:40 AM4/24/04
to
Dirk Thierbach <dthie...@gmx.de> wrote in message news:<6j4ll1-...@ID-7776.user.uni-berlin.de>...

> Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Elrond mentions a few other names of Tom Bombadil: Iarwain Ben-adar,
> > Forn, Orald, and he says he has been given other names. Do we know
> > these names, or do we have another subject here for wild
> > speculation?:-)
>
> AFAIK, we don't know any others. However, we know what some of them
> mean: "Iarwain Ben-adar" = "Oldest Without-Father" (or quite similar),

"Oldest and fatherless"

> "Orald" > german "Ur-Alt" = "very old". I would guess the other names
> are a variation of the same theme :-)
>

I thought Orald had a very old-Germanic ring to it, but I didn't think
of Ur-Alt. Isn't that nice!

One of the other names might include Methusalem:-)

Henriette

Öjevind Lång

unread,
Apr 24, 2004, 6:56:41 AM4/24/04
to
"Flame of the West" <jsol...@netscape.net> wrote:

> "Öjevind Lång" <dnivej...@swipnet.se> wrote in message news:
>
> > And then they had a son called Balrogion.
>
> With huge wings and one big eye.

Yes, and ten rings on his pudgy fingers, and a white tree growing out of his
head; its branches spread over his winglike ears like shadows.

Öjevind


Stan Brown

unread,
Apr 24, 2004, 9:13:02 AM4/24/04
to
"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>Dirk Thierbach <dthie...@gmx.de> wrote in message news:<6j4ll1-...@ID-7776.user.uni-berlin.de>...
>>
>> AFAIK, we don't know any others. However, we know what some of them
>> mean: "Iarwain Ben-adar" = "Oldest Without-Father" (or quite similar),
>
>"Oldest and fatherless"

That "ben-Adar" (son of nobody) always bothered me. "X ben Y" means
"X son of Y" in Hebrew and in Arabic also. (It's sometimes spelled
"bin".) While I understand there are only so many sounds, Tolkien
usually doesn't pick an actual Real World word and give it the same
meaning in Middle-earth.

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com
Tolkien FAQs: http://Tolkien.slimy.com (Steuard Jensen's site)
Tolkien letters FAQ:
http://users.telerama.com/~taliesen/tolkien/lettersfaq.html
FAQ of the Rings: http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
Encyclopedia of Arda: http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.htm
more FAQs: http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/faqget.htm

Matthew Bladen

unread,
Apr 24, 2004, 9:34:57 AM4/24/04
to
On Sat, 24 Apr 2004 09:13:02 -0400, Stan Brown
(the_sta...@fastmail.fm) said:
> "Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:
> >Dirk Thierbach <dthie...@gmx.de> wrote in message news:
> ><6j4ll1-...@ID-7776.user.uni-berlin.de>...
> >>
> >> AFAIK, we don't know any others. However, we know what some of them
> >> mean: "Iarwain Ben-adar" = "Oldest Without-Father" (or quite similar),
> >
> >"Oldest and fatherless"
>
> That "ben-Adar" (son of nobody) always bothered me. "X ben Y" means
> "X son of Y" in Hebrew and in Arabic also. (It's sometimes spelled
> "bin".) While I understand there are only so many sounds, Tolkien
> usually doesn't pick an actual Real World word and give it the same
> meaning in Middle-earth.

I think it's very probably 'pen' with mutation (voicing) of the initial
consonant, deriving ultimately from the primitive Quendian stem *PEN-
'lack, be without' (the first reference I can find is in 'Quendi and
Eldar' in HoME XI, but it may well appear elsewhere). So the translation
is 'lacking-father' (as was said earlier) rather than 'son of nobody'
(S. Adar = 'father'). So the overall name, while similar to Semitic
patronyms at first sight, is actually constructed on an entirely
different basis.
--
Matthew

Michael Martinez

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Apr 24, 2004, 1:45:12 PM4/24/04