COTW Silmarillion: Chapter XX "Of the Fifth Battle" (Part 2)

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Morgoth's Curse <morgothscurse2002@nospam.yahoo.com>

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Sep 28, 2006, 9:43:29 PM9/28/06
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"But Maedhros had the help of the Naugrim, both in armed force
and in great store of weapons; and the smithies of Nogrod and Belegost
were busy in those days. And he gathered together again all his
brothers and all the people who would follow them; and the Men of Bor
and Ulfang were marshalled and trained for war, and they summoned yet
more of their kinsfolk out of the East. Moreover in the west Fingon,
ever the friend of Maedhros, took counsel with Himring, and in Hithlum
the Noldor and the Men of the house of Hador prepared for war. In the
forest of Brethil Halmir, lord of the People of Haleth, gathered his
men, and they whetted their axes; but Halmir died ere the war came,
and Haldir his son ruled that people. And to Gondolin also the tidings
came, to Turgon, the hidden king."

***************************************************************************************

This passage implies that the Union was almost entirely due to the
efforts of Maedhros. Yet he took counsel with Fingon. If so, why did
he not turn over the task of recruiting to Fingon? The House of
Fingolfin had better relations with the other elven kingdoms than
Maedhros or any of his brothers could claim.

Since no one knew where Turgon now dwelt, the tidings could have only
come from the Eagles who guarded Gondolin. How do you think that they
learned those tidings? Did the Eagles conduct regular sweeps of
Beleriand and deduce the strategy from troop movements? Did Melian
have contacts with the Eagles and pass the message along?

***************************************************************************************

"But Maedhros made trial of his strength too soon, ere his plans
were full-wrought; and though the Orcs were driven out of all the
northward regions of Beleriand, and even Dorthonion was freed for a
while, Morgoth was warned of the uprising of the Eldar and the
Elf-friends, and took counsel against them. Many spies and workers of
treason he sent forth among them, as he was the better able now to do,
for the faithless Men of his secret allegiance were yet deep in the
secrets of the sons of Feanor."

***************************************************************************************

Why did Maedhros feel compelled to retake Dorthonion first? Morgoth's
armies were based in Angband; why not wait until his design was
complete to launch the war? Could it be considered it part of his
plan to lure Morgoth's armies out of Angband?

We know from previous chapters that the Noldor feared the treachery of
their kin who had been held in Angband. Why didn't they suspect that
Morgoth might have spies in the Men among their ranks? The sons of
Feanor certainly had ample experience with treachery!

***************************************************************************************

"At length Maedhros, having gathered all the strength that he
could of Elves and Men and Dwarves, resolved to assault Angband from
east and west; and he purposed to march with banners displayed in open
force over Anfauglith. But when he had drawn forth, as he hoped, the
armies of Morgoth in answer, then Fingon should issue forth from the
passes of Hithlum; and thus they thought to take the might of Morgoth
as between anvil and hammer, and break it to pieces. And the signal
for this was to be the firing of a great beacon in Dorthonion."

***************************************************************************************

It is ironic that this is almost exactly the same strategy that served
the Elves so well in the Third Battle. It's ironic because Morgoth is
experimenting with and refining his strategies whereas the Elves
prefer to stick with what they know works. In fairness to the Elves,
however, their smaller population and lower birthrates prevented any
serious experimentation. Nonetheless, it can be argued that this
stasis was the ultimate bane of the Elves.

***************************************************************************************

"On the appointed day, on the morning of Midsummer, the trumpets
of the Eldar greeted the rising of the sun; and in the east was raised
the standard of the sons of Feanor, and in the west the standard of
Fingon, High King of the Noldor. Then Fingon looked out from the walls
of Eithel Sirion, and his host was arrayed in the valleys and the
woods upon the east of Ered Wethrin, well hid from the eyes of the
Enemy; but he knew that it was very great. For there all the Noldor of
Hithlum were assembled, together with Elves of the Falas and Gwindor's
company from Nargothrond, and he had great strength of Men: upon the
right were the host of Dor-lomin and all the valour of Hurin and Huor
his brother, and to them had come Haldir of Brethil with many men of
the woods."

***************************************************************************************

What is the use of concealing your host if you blow trumpets at dawn
before the battle has actually begun? :-)

***************************************************************************************

"Then Fingon looked towards Thangorodrim, and there was a dark
cloud about it, and a black smoke went up; and he knew that the wrath
of Morgoth was aroused, and that their challenge was accepted. A
shadow of doubt fell upon Fingon's heart; and he looked eastwards,
seeking if he might see with elven-sight the dust of Anfauglith rising
beneath the hosts of Maedhros. He knew not that Maedhros was hindered
in his setting-forth by the guile of Uldor the accursed, who deceived
him with false warnings of assault from Angband."

***************************************************************************************

I believe this is a fine example of what Christopher Tolkien was
referring to in the Foreword when he wrote "As the years passed the
changes and variants, both in detail and in larger perspectives,
became so complex, so pervasive, and so many-layered that a final and
definitive version seemed unattainable." In LOTR (which must stand as
canon for all of Tolkien's subsequent writings on Middle-earth),
telepathy between Elves can and does occur. If this were the case,
however, this tale would founder because there would be no need for
either a signal beacon or messenger. Maedhros and Fingon could simply
communicate their doubts and alterations to the strategy.

***************************************************************************************

"But now a cry went up, passing up the wind from the south from
vale to vale, and Elves and Men lifted their voices in wonder and joy.
For unsummoned and unlooked for Turgon had opened the leaguer of
Gondolin, and was come with an army ten thousand strong, with bright
mail and long swords and spears like a forest. Then when Fingon heard
afar the great trumpet of Turgon his brother, the shadow passed and
his heart was uplifted, and he shouted aloud: 'Utulie'n aure Aiya
Eldalie ar Atanatari, utulie'n aure! The day has come! Behold, people
of the Eldar and Fathers of Men, the day has come And all those who
heard his great voice echo in the hills answered crying: 'Auta i 1ome!
The night is passing!'"

***************************************************************************************

Up to this point in the narrative of the chapter, everything has been
primarily history with the author laying out the framework and filling
in the background. Now the true action of the tale begins. What are
your feelings as you read this now? If you have read the Silmarillion
more than once, does your reaction vary or is it approximately the
same with every subsequent reading?

***************************************************************************************

"Now Morgoth, who knew much of what was done and designed by his
enemies, chose his hour, and trusting in his treacherous servants to
hold back Maedhros and prevent the union of his foes he sent a force
seeming great (and yet but part of all that he had made ready) towards
Hithlum; and they were clad all in dun raiment and showed no naked
steel, and thus were already far over the sands of Anfauglith before
their approach was seen."

***************************************************************************************

Ironically, this is exactly the strategy adopted by Morgoth's enemies:
Draw out the enemy and then slaughter him.

I also wonder if this is an echo of the scene in "Macbeth" in which
his enemies disguise their approach by tying the branches of trees to
their backs and heads. I seem to recall that Tolkien was not too fond
of Shakespeare, but he may still have been influenced by him
nevertheless.

William de Hikelyng >

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Sep 29, 2006, 9:50:07 AM9/29/06
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On Thu, 28 Sep 2006 21:43:29 -0400, Morgoth's Curse
<morgoths...@nospam.yahoo.com> <morgoths...@nospamyahoo.com>
wrote:

> Since no one knew where Turgon now dwelt, the tidings could have only
> come from the Eagles who guarded Gondolin. How do you think that they
> learned those tidings? Did the Eagles conduct regular sweeps of
> Beleriand and deduce the strategy from troop movements? Did Melian
> have contacts with the Eagles and pass the message along?

This is a place where the seams show. As the story stood for a long time,
Gondolin was not yet founded- it was in fact established by Turgon's folk
after they cut their way out of the battle.* In subsequent versions
Tolkien never quite worked out the circumstances of Turgon's "opening the
leaguer"- in one variant, not even the Elves know about it, until the
Gondolindrim fall upon the Orcs' rear.

For our purposes, though, there is no reason to suppose that Turgon didn't
send out scouts and spies. The Way of Escape was still open when Tuor
found it, some twenty years after the Nirnaeth. "Therefore in that time
[ie after Tuor's message from Ulmo] the very entrance to the hidden door
in the Encircling Mountains was caused to be blocked up; and thereafter
none went ever forth from Gondolin on any errand of peace or war, while
that city stood." This I think implies that up until then certain of
Turgon's people did go forth on various errands.


*The "essential fact" of the earliest phase of the legendarium was that
the Noldoli or Gnomes were *almost immediately* defeated and enslaved by
Morgoth, and their long thraldom was the reason for their language being
so changed from "Eldarissa." Only in Gondolin were free Gnomes to be
found.


--
Using Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/mail/

Dirk Thierbach

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Oct 2, 2006, 3:20:51 AM10/2/06
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"Morgoth's Curse" <morgoths...@nospamyahoo.com> wrote:

> What is the use of concealing your host if you blow trumpets at dawn
> before the battle has actually begun? :-)

I'd guess that you'd want to conceal the arrangement, size and position
of your troops. A surprise attack with a large army doesn't work, anyway,
so the trumpets don't hurt.

> In LOTR (which must stand as canon for all of Tolkien's subsequent
> writings on Middle-earth), telepathy between Elves can and does
> occur.

But only in a restricted way, otherwise the story would break down,
too. Even in LotR they need messengers, scouts, and palantiri.

> If this were the case, however, this tale would founder because
> there would be no need for either a signal beacon or
> messenger. Maedhros and Fingon could simply communicate their doubts
> and alterations to the strategy.

I don't think it would be too difficult to introduce some condition or
other that would make sanwe-latya difficult in a situation like a battle.
For example, such a condition could be some "peace of mind" to be able
to concentrate sufficiently, which wouldn't work in the stress and
hectic of a fight.

- Dirk

Öjevind Lång

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Oct 2, 2006, 9:11:37 AM10/2/06
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"Dirk Thierbach" <dthie...@usenet.arcornews.de> skrev i meddelandet
news:20061002072051...@dthierbach.news.arcor.de...

> "Morgoth's Curse" <morgoths...@nospamyahoo.com> wrote:

[snip]

> I'd guess that you'd want to conceal the arrangement, size and position
> of your troops. A surprise attack with a large army doesn't work, anyway,
> so the trumpets don't hurt.
>
>> In LOTR (which must stand as canon for all of Tolkien's subsequent
>> writings on Middle-earth), telepathy between Elves can and does
>> occur.
>
> But only in a restricted way, otherwise the story would break down,
> too. Even in LotR they need messengers, scouts, and palantiri.
>
>> If this were the case, however, this tale would founder because
>> there would be no need for either a signal beacon or
>> messenger. Maedhros and Fingon could simply communicate their doubts
>> and alterations to the strategy.
>
> I don't think it would be too difficult to introduce some condition or
> other that would make sanwe-latya difficult in a situation like a battle.
> For example, such a condition could be some "peace of mind" to be able
> to concentrate sufficiently, which wouldn't work in the stress and
> hectic of a fight.

Isn't there a limit for the distance over which telepathy can occur? I
always thought of it as speechless conversation among people who can see
each other. Anything else would indeed sink both LotR and the Sil. With
Valar it would be different, I suppose. Morgoth ever sought to read Melian's
mind from afar, but he always failed.

Öjevind


Dirk Thierbach

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Oct 2, 2006, 10:19:42 AM10/2/06
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"?jevind L?ng" <bredba...@ojevind.lang> wrote:
> Isn't there a limit for the distance over which telepathy can occur?

The Osanwe-Kenta says no:

For distance in itself offers no impediment whatever to ósanwe. But
those who by affinity might well use ósanwe will use lambe when
in proximity, by habit or preference. Yet we may mark also how the
"affine" may more quickly understand the lambe that they use between
them, and indeed all that they would say is not put into words. With
fewer words they come swifter to a better understanding. There can be
no doubt that here ósanwe is also often taking place; for the
will to converse in lambe is a will to communicate thought, and lays
the minds open.

> I always thought of it as speechless conversation among people who
> can see each other.

At least that's the description of the one time this happens explicitely
in LotR. But also see the quote above.

> Anything else would indeed sink both LotR and the Sil.

As I said, it's not too difficult to invent conditions for telepathy
to keep them afloat :-)

> With Valar it would be different, I suppose. Morgoth ever sought to
> read Melian's mind from afar, but he always failed.

The special case of a Valar, like Morgoth, trying to read someone else's
mind is discussed in the Osanwe in some detail. Bottom line is that
in principle, no mind can be read if it is "closed". But that doesn't
prevent an adversary from using tricks. Or, more effectively, using
lies (because language, unlike mind-reading, can lie) to influence
other people.

- Dirk

Troels Forchhammer

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Oct 18, 2006, 7:51:14 AM10/18/06
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In message <news:op.tgm7d01cz5htve@emachine> "William de Hikelyng >"
<"<icelofangeln"@mindspring.com> (2) enriched us with:
>
> On Thu, 28 Sep 2006 21:43:29 -0400, Morgoth's Curse
> <morgoths...@nospamyahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>> Since no one knew where Turgon now dwelt, the tidings could have
>> only come from the Eagles who guarded Gondolin. How do you think
>> that they learned those tidings? Did the Eagles conduct regular
>> sweeps of Beleriand and deduce the strategy from troop movements?
>> Did Melian have contacts with the Eagles and pass the message
>> along?
>
> This is a place where the seams show. As the story stood for a
> long time, Gondolin was not yet founded- it was in fact
> established by Turgon's folk after they cut their way out of the
> battle.* In subsequent versions Tolkien never quite worked out
> the circumstances of Turgon's "opening the leaguer" - in one
> variant, not even the Elves know about it, until the Gondolindrim
> fall upon the Orcs' rear.

I don't think that there is any variant where the other Elves knew
about Turgon coming forth before he was there -- his arrival was a
complete surprise to all, regardless of what point of the battle he
arrived at.

But is there a version where the other Noldor until then knew only
that Turgon and the people of Nevrast had disappeared? Where they
didn't even know the name 'Gondolin' (which I think is about all they
know in the published version as well -- that is, they know it is the
name not only of Turgon's hiding place, but of a town) -- recall that
Eöl spoke to Curufin of Aredhel as 'my wife, the White Lady of
Gondolin'.


> For our purposes, though, there is no reason to suppose that
> Turgon didn't send out scouts and spies.

The story is a bit confusing on the point of Turgon sending out
anyone from Gondolin. Aredhel and her escort is allowed out only
after long nagging, and Eöl and Maeglin not at all. Later, however,
Turgon messengers to Havens to build ships and seek out Valinor.

As for reasons to suppose that Turgon didn't send out spies, I think
that there is at least one good reason to suppose so:

Through many long years none passed inward thereafter,
save Húrin and Huor only; and the host of Turgon came
never forth again until the Year of Lamentation after
three hundred and fifty years and more.

A literal reading of this passage would exclude at least the return
to Gondolin of any spies since they are not mentioned among those
passing inward. The account, however, also 'forgets' to mention
Aredhel's escort, herself, her son and her husband, so I would say
that there are good reasons not to take it too seriously ;)

On the other hand we do know that Thorondor brought tidings of
Fingolfin's combat with Morgoth to Turgon.

> The Way of Escape was still open when Tuor found it, some twenty
> years after the Nirnaeth.

Yes.

> This I think implies that up until then certain of Turgon's people
> did go forth on various errands.

We know about that already:
[...], and he sent companies of the Gondolindrim in secret
to the mouths of Sirion and the Isle of Balar.

The question is, IMO, not so much about Gondolindrim going forth as
much as returning -- the passage I quoted earlier emphasizes that
aspect rather than the outward passage, implying, I believe, that
this was the critical direction.

The only Gondolindrim that we know to have passed out with the
intention, and Turgon's leave, to return is Aredhel's escort.

> *The "essential fact" of the earliest phase of the legendarium was
> that the Noldoli or Gnomes were *almost immediately* defeated and
> enslaved by Morgoth, and their long thraldom was the reason for
> their language being so changed from "Eldarissa." Only in
> Gondolin were free Gnomes to be found.

Yes, the overall history of this age was much changed from the 'Book
of Lost Tales'.

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail is <troelsfo(a)gmail.com>
Please put '[AFT]', '[RABT]' or 'Tolkien' in subject.

Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.
- /Reaper Man/ (Terry Pratchett)

Troels Forchhammer

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Oct 18, 2006, 7:52:14 AM10/18/06
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In message
<news:20061002141942...@dthierbach.news.arcor.de>
Dirk Thierbach <dthie...@usenet.arcornews.de> enriched us with:
>
> "?jevind L?ng" <bredba...@ojevind.lang> wrote:
>>
>> "Dirk Thierbach" <dthie...@usenet.arcornews.de> skrev i
>> meddelandet
>> news:20061002072051...@dthierbach.news.arcor.de...
>>>
>>> "Morgoth's Curse" <morgoths...@nospamyahoo.com> wrote:
>>>>

<reinstating earlier conversation>

>>>> In LOTR (which must stand as canon for all of Tolkien's
>>>> subsequent writings on Middle-earth), telepathy between Elves
can
>>>> and does occur.
>>>
>>> But only in a restricted way, otherwise the story would break
>>> down, too. Even in LotR they need messengers, scouts, and
>>> palantiri.

Yes. Unrestricted telepathic contact would be far too powerful an
ability to allow in the great stories -- it would in any case
seriously disturb the balance, even if utilized by both sides, it
would, to a large degree, create devastating holes in the plot
consistency.

>>>> If this were the case, however, this tale would founder because
>>>> there would be no need for either a signal beacon or messenger.
>>>> Maedhros and Fingon could simply communicate their doubts and
>>>> alterations to the strategy.
>>>
>>> I don't think it would be too difficult to introduce some
>>> condition or other that would make sanwe-latya difficult in a
>>> situation like a battle.

I think that that mechanism is already present in the Ósanwe-kenta
essay.

Nonetheless any mind may be closed (/pahta/). This
requires an act of conscious will: Unwill (/avanir/). It
may be made against G, against G and some others, or be a
total retreat into "privacy" (/aquapahtie/).
['Ósanwe-kenta', /Vinyar Tengwar/ issue 39]

In battle, the elves would surely have closed their minds against
Morgoth and his cohorts. It seems, however, that the closing can only
be against known entities or completely closed. In order to be sure
that their minds were closed not only to Morgoth, Sauron, Gothmog and
Glaurung, the elves may very well have decided to close down
completely.

And other problems exist for Incarnates in particular:

The Incarnates have by the nature of /sáma/ the same
faculties; but their perception is dimmed by the /hröa/,
for their /fëa/ is united to their /hröa/ and its normal
procedure is through the /hröa/, which is in itself part
of Eä, without thought. The dimming is indeed double; for
thought has to pass one mantle of /hröa/ and penetrate
another. For this reason in Incarnates transmission of
thought requires strengthening to be effective.
Strengthening can be by affinity, by urgency, or by
authority.
[ibid.]

Though quite obviously the urgency of battle would strengthen the
sending, the general confusion and, in particular, any remaining
distrust among the Noldor (reducing both the authority and the
affinity), would weaken the 'link' -- quite possibly to the point
where the conversation would be if not impossible, then so weak as to
be useless: all that would be conveyed would be a sense of urgency,
confusion and fear (for the Incarnates ósanwe is not as clear and
precise as the spoken word).

>>> For example, such a condition could be some "peace of mind" to be
>>> able to concentrate sufficiently, which wouldn't work in the
>>> stress and hectic of a fight.

My only concern in that respect would be the description of urgency
as a strengthening factor for the ósanwe:

Urgency is imparted by great need of the "sender" (as in
joy, grief or fear); and if these things are in any degree
shared by the "receiver" the thought is the clearer
received.
[ibid]

The implication here, as I read it, would be that if the receiver
shares the emotional reaction to the circumstances that are causing
it, then the thought will be received clearer.

>> Isn't there a limit for the distance over which telepathy can
>> occur?
>
> The Osanwe-Kenta says no:

[...]

Quite unequivocally, even.

> But those who by affinity might well use ósanwe will use lambe
> when in proximity, by habit or preference.

This follows on the explanation that language 'is in Incarnates
clearer and more precise than their direct reception of thought' and
also that 'the use of "language" soon becomes habitual, so that the
practice of /ósanwe/ (interchange of thought) is neglected and
becomes more difficult.'

All of this would of course conbine to make ósanwe less useful on the
battlefield, where unclear communication could be more damaging than
no communication.

<snip rest of quotation>

>> I always thought of it as speechless conversation among people
>> who can see each other.
>
> At least that's the description of the one time this happens
> explicitely in LotR. But also see the quote above.

It is remarkable that this situation in LotR is almost antithetical
to the description in 'Ósanwe-kenta'. Here we have four Incarnates
(with the proviso that one of them isn't originally incarnate) who
are in close proximity, and yet use ósanwe rather than ordinary
speech. The only possible conclusion would be that these four are
extraordinarily well-trained in the use of ósanwe, but that, too,
would seem difficult because it would render baseless the need for
messengers between Rivendell and Lothlórien in book II of LotR,
reducing some of the conversation upon the Fellowship's arrival in
Caras Galadhon as hypocritcal.

>> Anything else would indeed sink both LotR and the Sil.
>
> As I said, it's not too difficult to invent conditions for
> telepathy to keep them afloat :-)

Yes. I think that one would have to also consider the clarity and
detail of thought that can be communicated. It is possible that
Fingon could have communicated quite clearly to Maedhros that he was
'confused, uncertain and scared' -- and got similar emotion in reply,
but that any exchange of detailed information would be impossible.

On the other hand, a calm mind without fear, and assisted by even the
smallest hints of body-language, might be able to communicate quite
complex thoughts if reasonably well-trained in ósanwe. Then we could
explain that all that Elrond, Glorfindel or Gandalf could have sent
to Galadriel and Celeborn would be something of the order of 'They've
started!', whereas in the end, free of any concern about Sauron, they
could use ósanwe quite effectively.

It is, I know, in a way to reverse-engineer the stories to fit
together, there has to be room for that as well ;)

<snip>

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail is <troelsfo(a)gmail.com>
Please put '[AFT]', '[RABT]' or 'Tolkien' in subject.

Scientific reasoning works only with measurements: only
when we have a number and a unit. Thus, topics for which
we have no measurements, scientific investigation is not
useful. No math, no science. When we do have
measurements, scientific reasoning cannot be ignored.
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William de Hikelyng

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Oct 18, 2006, 10:37:45 AM10/18/06
to
On Wed, 18 Oct 2006 07:51:14 -0400, Troels Forchhammer
<Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:

>> This is a place where the seams show. As the story stood for a
>> long time, Gondolin was not yet founded- it was in fact
>> established by Turgon's folk after they cut their way out of the
>> battle.* In subsequent versions Tolkien never quite worked out
>> the circumstances of Turgon's "opening the leaguer" - in one
>> variant, not even the Elves know about it, until the Gondolindrim
>> fall upon the Orcs' rear.

> I don't think that there is any variant where the other Elves knew
> about Turgon coming forth before he was there -- his arrival was a
> complete surprise to all, regardless of what point of the battle he
> arrived at.


Well, in the old story of course Turgon was part of the planning from the
outset, since he was still in Nivrost. In the rewriting of Q (Q+), Turgon
comes forth several days or even weeks before the battle, and takes part
in the final planning (and perhaps the "trial runs:" see below). The
variant I referred to above, from AB2, was Tolkien's most extreme move in
the other direction- Turgon doesn't show up until the battle is already
being lost, and Fingon is retreating across Dor-nu-Fauglith. As CT
discusses in HoME V.315ff, QS attempts to mix the versions of AB2 and Q+,
and winds up being somewhat incoherent. The GA version, followed (mostly)
in /The Sil/, resolves it (Turgon appears the morning of the battle).
However, Tolkien never did spell out how exactly the Hidden King became
involved; in Q+ "Turgon himself deeming that haply the hour of deliverance
was at hand...;" however, this very sentence continues, "came forth
himself unlooked for, and brought a great army..." In AB2 "Tidings came
also to Turgon the hidden king, and he prepared for war in secret:" the
phrase which is repeated in all subsequent versions. Never did Tolkien
elaborate upon "tidings."

Q+ does go on to say "At last having gathered all the strength that he
might Maidros appointed a day, and sent word to Fingon and Turgon. Now
for a while the Gnomes had the victory and the Orcs were driven out of
Beleriand, and hope was renewed, but Morgoth was aware of all that was
done ...." This I suppose could be read as implying that Maidros sent
messages to Turgon while Turgon was still in Gondolin, but I think the
more logical reading, given the opening clause, is that Turgon was already
"encamped before the West Pass," some considerable time before the
Nirnaeth.

--
" I would even contend that a reaction against Tolkien's non-Modernist
prose style is just as influential in the rejection of Tolkien by
traditional literary scholars as is Modernist antipathy to the themes of
his work"

William de Hikelyng

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Oct 18, 2006, 11:05:48 AM10/18/06
to

OK, here's a textual puzzle I can't find the answer to: in the published
Chapter 20, this phrase appears: "...and their [the Gondolindrim's] ranks
shone like a river of steel in the sun." Now, what's the source text? I
can't find it in the pre-LR stuff, nor GA, nor the Narn account of the
battle. But it would be wholly unlike CJRT to add a detail of his own
invention. For that matter, the gory phrase "and [Fingon's] banner, blue
and silver, they trod into the mire of his blood" also seems to be
without published antecedent.

Raven

unread,
Oct 18, 2006, 5:56:34 PM10/18/06
to
"Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> skrev i en meddelelse
news:Xns98608CED...@130.133.1.4...

> The story is a bit confusing on the point of Turgon sending out
> anyone from Gondolin. Aredhel and her escort is allowed out only
> after long nagging, and Eöl and Maeglin not at all. Later, however,
> Turgon messengers to Havens to build ships and seek out Valinor.

> As for reasons to suppose that Turgon didn't send out spies, I think
> that there is at least one good reason to suppose so:

Story-internally I see no problem here. From Turgon's point of view, it
is one thing to permit his sister out on a pleasure-trip into perilous
lands, and another to send highly-trained and well-briefed messengers and
spies on missions vital to his realm, servants whose loyalty and skills
have presumably been trusted for millennia. As for Eöl and Maeglin, they
were compromised by the mere fact that they were strangers, whose loyalty to
Turgon and to the realm, even after a long sojourn, might be only
infinitesimally more in doubt than that of his messengers - but in so vital
a matter that would be enough.

Marghvran.


Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Oct 19, 2006, 5:12:30 AM10/19/06
to
In message <news:op.thmf89aw61hcvr@emachine> "William de Hikelyng"
<icelof...@mindspring.com> enriched us with:
>
> On Wed, 18 Oct 2006 07:51:14 -0400, Troels Forchhammer
> <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:
>>
>> I don't think that there is any variant where the other Elves
>> knew about Turgon coming forth before he was there -- his arrival
>> was a complete surprise to all, regardless of what point of the
>> battle he arrived at.
>
> Well, in the old story of course Turgon was part of the planning
> from the outset, since he was still in Nivrost.

<snip>

Thanks -- I misunderstood the point, it seems (not that that should be
too much of a surprise <G>).

And thanks for the overview as well -- very nicely done.

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail is <troelsfo(a)gmail.com>
Please put '[AFT]', '[RABT]' or 'Tolkien' in subject.

Original thought
is a straightforward process.
It's easy enough
when you know what to do.
You simply combine
in appropriate doses
the blatantly false
and the patently true.
- Piet Hein, /Originality/

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