COTW Silmarillion: Chapter XX "Of the Fifth Battle" (Part 1)

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

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Sep 28, 2006, 9:42:25 PM9/28/06
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Chapter Summary

David sallies forth to slay Goliath. Goliath beats David into a
bloody jelly, enslaves his family, skins his pets and then maxes out
his credit cards.


DISCUSSSION

"It is said that Beren and Luthien returned to the northern lands
of Middle-earth, and dwelt together for a time as living man and
woman; and they took up again their mortal form in Doriath. Those that
saw them were both glad and fearful; and Luthien went to Menegroth and
healed the winter of Thingol with the touch of her hand. But Melian
looked in her eyes and read the doom that was written there, and
turned away; for she knew that a parting beyond the end of the world
had come between them, and no grief of loss has been heavier than the
grief of Melian the Maia in that hour. Then Beren and Luthien went
forth alone, fearing neither thirst nor hunger; and they passed beyond
the River Gelion into Ossiriand, and dwelt there in Tol Galen the
green isle, in the midst of Adurant, until all tidings of them ceased.
The Eldar afterwards called that country Dor Firn-i-Guinar, the Land
of the Dead that Live; and there was born Dior Aranel the beautiful,
who was after known as Dior Eluchil, which is Thingol's Heir. No
mortal man spoke ever again with Beren son of Barahir; and none saw
Beren or Luthien leave the world, or marked where at last their bodies
lay."

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

Why does this chapter begin with a postscript to the tale of Beren and
Luthien? Was it cruel of Luthien to visit her father and mother again
when she knew that her tidings would cause only more grief? Why do
you think Beren and Luthien quickly departed from Doriath? (My own
opinion is that they wanted to spare Thingol and Melian the agony of
watching their once immortal child grow old and die.) Why are Beren
and Luthien drawn eastward toward the mountains rather than southward
to the forests? Why is it important to note that no one saw Beren &
Luthien pass away?

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

"In those days Maedhros son of Feanor lifted up his heart,
perceiving that Morgoth was not unassailable; for the deeds of Beren
and Luthien were sung in many songs throughout Beleriand. Yet Morgoth
would destroy them all, one by one, if they could not again unite, and
make new league and common council; and he began those counsels for
the raising of the fortunes of the Eldar that are called the Union of
Maedhros."

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

Is it significant or mere coincidence that Maedhros, who lived closer
to Tol Galen than Fingon and hence would have been among the first to
hear the tales of the deeds of Beren and Luthien, decided that it was
time to make common league and destroy the threat of Morgoth? Maedhros
must certainly have felt guilty about the fact that he had ignored
Fingolfin's earlier proposal for an assault on Angband. He was also
possibly the only son of Feanor who could persuade his brothers to
join with their kindred again. Is it possible that Maedhros considers
this a duty of atonement as well as a sensible survival strategy?

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

"Yet the oath of Feanor and the evil deeds that it had wrought
did injury to the design of Maedhros, and he had less aid than should
have been. Orodreth would not march forth at the word of any son of
Feanor, because of the deeds of Celegorm and Curufin; and the Elves of
Nargothrond trusted still to defend their hidden stronghold by secrecy
and stealth. Thence came only a small company, following Gwindor son
of Guilin, a very valiant prince; and against the will of Orodreth he
went to the northern war, because he grieved for the loss of Gelmir
his brother in the Dagor Bragollach. They took the badge of the house
of Fingolfin, and marched beneath the banners of Fingon; and they came
never back, save one."

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

The issue of just how much authority Elven kings wielded has been
discussed many times in this forum and, as far as I am aware, no
general consensus has emerged. This passage seems to lend credence to
the theory that each king was autonomous. It is understandable why
Orodreth would refuse to aid the sons of Feanor: Celegorm and Curufin
had nearly deposed him. Yet Fingon is the High King of all the
Noldor. He has approved this alliance and has committed the full
strength of his realm to the battle. Orodreth and his council are
technically defying their lord by refusing to take part in the battle.
Finrod Felagund certainly would joined the alliance and hence this
passage illustrates just how low the fortunes of the House of Finarfin
have fallen.

Can anybody with a complete copy of HOME verify whether Gwindor is
ever mention prior to this chapter? As much as I regret to admit it,
my knowledge of Norse and Greek myths is far from complete, so I will
have to pass the question to others: Is the character of Gwindor
inspired by any of the Norse or Greek legends? Do you consider him
heroic or tragic or both?

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

"From Doriath came little help. For Maedhros and his brothers,
being constrained by their oath, had before sent to Thingol and
reminded him with haughty words of their claim, summoning him to yield
the Silmaril, or become their enemy. Melian counselled him to
surrender it; but the words of the sons of Feanor were proud and
threatening, and Thingol was filled with anger, thinking of the
anguish of Luthien and the blood of Beren whereby the jewel had been
won, despite the malice of Celegorm and Curufin. And every day that he
looked upon the Silmaril the more he desired to keep it for ever; for
such was its power. Therefore he sent back the messengers with
scornful words. Maedhros made no answer, for he had now begun to
devise the league and union of the Elves; but Celegorm and Curufin
vowed openly to slay Thingol and destroy his people, if they came
victorious from war, and the jewel were not surrendered of free will.
Then Thingol fortified the marches of his realm, and went not to war,
nor any out of Doriath save Mablung and Beleg, who were unwilling to
have no part in these great deeds. To them Thingol gave leave to go,
so long as they served not the sons of Feanor; and they joined
themselves to the host of Fingon."

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

IMHO, this is Thingol's most despicable moment. It was not so long
ago (as Elves reckon time) that Thingol had promised that he would
keep friendship with Fingolfin and his people. Morgoth is also the
common enemy of all Elves. Thingol has every reason to join his host
to that Fingon and perhaps provide the strength that would have
ensured victory, but he chooses to brood over the insults of the sons
of Feanor. By this choice, he earns a significant share of the blame
for the ultimate defeat and slaughter of the Eldar. He sits upon his
throne secure behind the power of Melian--a power that she shares only
out of love--while Fingon and the Noldor risk their lives in combat
with Morgoth and his servants. He loves a gem that he never would
seen had it not been for the valor and agony of Beren and Luthien.

It is curious that Melian does not press Thingol to join the house of
Fingon on the battlefield. She must certainly possess sufficient
wisdom to recognize that Morgoth is a threat to all. Is this passage
evidence that Melian shares the general attitude of the Valar that
their role is one of observation rather than intervention?

I admire Beleg and Mablung, however. Their sense of duty compels them
to leave the safety of Doriath and take the battle to Morgoth. I feel
certain that this echoes Tolkien's own experiences in World War I. He
must have known many men who were motivated as much by a sense of duty
as by any lust for glory.

Phlip

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Sep 28, 2006, 10:59:46 PM9/28/06
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Morgoth's Curse wrote:

> Why does this chapter begin with a postscript to the tale of Beren and
> Luthien? Was it cruel of Luthien to visit her father and mother again
> when she knew that her tidings would cause only more grief? Why do
> you think Beren and Luthien quickly departed from Doriath? (My own
> opinion is that they wanted to spare Thingol and Melian the agony of
> watching their once immortal child grow old and die.) Why are Beren
> and Luthien drawn eastward toward the mountains rather than southward
> to the forests? Why is it important to note that no one saw Beren &
> Luthien pass away?

The answer to all of them is the same: The Valar (or Eru?) granted Luthien
and Beren a special exemption from both their fates. In exchange, they are
awarded only one thing: The ability to live together as husband and wife,
for one mortal lifetime, deep in one peaceful forest. Their role in the War
of the Jewels is now over, and they may neither participate with their
original cultures nor influence the War's outcome. And of course the one
exception that proves this rule is their son, Dior himself.

--
Phlip
http://www.greencheese.us/ZeekLand <-- NOT a blog!!!


William de Hikelyng >

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Sep 29, 2006, 9:21:25 AM9/29/06
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On Thu, 28 Sep 2006 21:42:25 -0400, Morgoth's Curse
<morgoths...@nospam.yahoo.com> <morgoths...@nospamyahoo.com>
wrote:

> Can anybody with a complete copy of HOME verify whether Gwindor is
> ever mention prior to this chapter? As much as I regret to admit it,
> my knowledge of Norse and Greek myths is far from complete, so I will
> have to pass the question to others: Is the character of Gwindor
> inspired by any of the Norse or Greek legends? Do you consider him
> heroic or tragic or both?

Gwindor (orig. named Flinding) first appeared in the Turin story. His
role in the Nirnaeth came later, as a way of explaining his captivity in
Angband.

No model in Classical or Norse lagend that I'm aware of, but he does
exhibit a characteristic peculiar to the Anglo-Saxon tragic hero (in
JRRT's opinion): *ofermod*, excessive heroism, if you will. Cf. Tolkien's
essay on the Battle of Maldon. Here of course personal grief is the
immediate lever; nonetheless Gwindor's tragedy results from his lunatic
charge into impossible odds. With of course bad results for the entire
cause.

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

Öjevind Lång

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Sep 29, 2006, 12:18:02 PM9/29/06
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"Morgoth's Curse <morgoths...@nospam.yahoo.com>"
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> Chapter Summary
>
> David sallies forth to slay Goliath. Goliath beats David into a
> bloody jelly, enslaves his family, skins his pets and then maxes out
> his credit cards.

[snip]

> "From Doriath came little help. For Maedhros and his brothers,
> being constrained by their oath, had before sent to Thingol and
> reminded him with haughty words of their claim, summoning him to yield
> the Silmaril, or become their enemy. Melian counselled him to
> surrender it; but the words of the sons of Feanor were proud and
> threatening, and Thingol was filled with anger, thinking of the
> anguish of Luthien and the blood of Beren whereby the jewel had been
> won, despite the malice of Celegorm and Curufin. And every day that he
> looked upon the Silmaril the more he desired to keep it for ever; for
> such was its power.

In other words, it had the same power to enslave its owners as the One Ring.

>Therefore he sent back the messengers with
> scornful words. Maedhros made no answer, for he had now begun to
> devise the league and union of the Elves; but Celegorm and Curufin
> vowed openly to slay Thingol and destroy his people, if they came
> victorious from war, and the jewel were not surrendered of free will.

Celegorm and Curufin were real prizes. In my opinion, they would have been
extremely nasty even if the Oath hadn't twisted them further. Many of their
evil deeds were clearly not due to the Oath but to their native mentality.

> Then Thingol fortified the marches of his realm, and went not to war,
> nor any out of Doriath save Mablung and Beleg, who were unwilling to
> have no part in these great deeds. To them Thingol gave leave to go,
> so long as they served not the sons of Feanor; and they joined
> themselves to the host of Fingon."

And both survived, though they met tragical deaths later on.


***************************************************************************************
> IMHO, this is Thingol's most despicable moment. It was not so long
> ago (as Elves reckon time) that Thingol had promised that he would
> keep friendship with Fingolfin and his people. Morgoth is also the
> common enemy of all Elves. Thingol has every reason to join his host
> to that Fingon and perhaps provide the strength that would have
> ensured victory, but he chooses to brood over the insults of the sons
> of Feanor. By this choice, he earns a significant share of the blame
> for the ultimate defeat and slaughter of the Eldar. He sits upon his
> throne secure behind the power of Melian--a power that she shares only
> out of love--while Fingon and the Noldor risk their lives in combat
> with Morgoth and his servants. He loves a gem that he never would
> seen had it not been for the valor and agony of Beren and Luthien.

I tend to agree. Still, if he had spent his army in the battle, what
guarantee would he have had that the sons of Fëanor would not later have
attacked his wekened realm to recover the Silmaril?

> It is curious that Melian does not press Thingol to join the house of
> Fingon on the battlefield. She must certainly possess sufficient
> wisdom to recognize that Morgoth is a threat to all. Is this passage
> evidence that Melian shares the general attitude of the Valar that
> their role is one of observation rather than intervention?

She did try to persuade Thingol to give up the Silmaril. Perhaps she tried
to persuade him to join the battle too.

Öjevind


Michael O'Neill

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Sep 29, 2006, 3:24:17 PM9/29/06
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Morgoth's Curse wrote:

<snip>

> IMHO, this is Thingol's most despicable moment.

<snip>

On the contrary, his most dispicable moments were (i) locking his
daughter up and (ii) sending Beren on a hopeless quest, one which he
hoped would bring Beren's death.

From being the tallest and one of the fairest of the creaturesof middle
earth, Thingol fell to being little more than a bully.

He was every bit as vain and ignorant as Feanor and his sons, saving only
that his focus was on other things initially.

At the end, he was no more than they were, coveting a Silmaril and being
killed for it byt the dwarves, who also coveted it, having set it within
the Nauglamir.

M.

Count Menelvagor

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Sep 29, 2006, 11:40:17 PM9/29/06
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Morgoth's Curse <morgoths...@nospam.yahoo.com> wrote:
> Chapter Summary
>
> David sallies forth to slay Goliath. Goliath beats David into a
> bloody jelly, enslaves his family, skins his pets and then maxes out
> his credit cards.

> The issue of just how much authority Elven kings wielded has been


> discussed many times in this forum and, as far as I am aware, no
> general consensus has emerged. This passage seems to lend credence to
> the theory that each king was autonomous. It is understandable why
> Orodreth would refuse to aid the sons of Feanor: Celegorm and Curufin
> had nearly deposed him. Yet Fingon is the High King of all the
> Noldor. He has approved this alliance and has committed the full
> strength of his realm to the battle. Orodreth and his council are
> technically defying their lord by refusing to take part in the battle.
> Finrod Felagund certainly would joined the alliance and hence this
> passage illustrates just how low the fortunes of the House of Finarfin
> have fallen.

elvish kings do seem to be a bit wimpy. perhaps it's harder to govern
other immortals.

it's all part of the curse. indeed it's another evil effect of the
oath, as thingol's refusal to join in the war is partly due to the fact
that feanor's sons were jerks. chip off the old block, i guess.

thingol never comes across as being very noble or heroic, that i can
recall.

and from other sections:

my favorite part of this chapter is the "auta i lome!" bit; very
stirring.

tolkien did indeed cite shakespeare as an influence for the march of
the ents to war in LOTR, though the way he put it suggests that he
thought he cd do it better. it wdn't be surprisingif there were other
influences. tolkien sometimes underrated influences; i find it very
hard to believe that wagner didn't influence the Ring. they had a lot
more in common than being round!

Troels Forchhammer

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Oct 17, 2006, 3:11:47 PM10/17/06
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In message <news:tduoh2po2pii59nrp...@4ax.com>
"Morgoth's Curse <morgoths...@nospam.yahoo.com>"
<morgoths...@nospamyahoo.com> enriched us with:
>>
>> Chapter Summary
>>
>> David sallies forth to slay Goliath. Goliath beats David
>> into a bloody jelly, enslaves his family, skins his pets and
>> then maxes out his credit cards.

LOL!

Actually a very apt summary of the chapter.

I've chosen to paste in the answers from others, as commenting on
their replies is easier this way ;-)

<snip>

>> Why does this chapter begin with a postscript to the tale of Beren
>> and Luthien?

Tolkien moved this section from the previous chapter at some point
before LotR (in the QS series presented in HoMe V, /The Lost Road/
[LR]).

I don't know what question is the correct one, but it might rather be
'why does the previous chapter not end with this after-word to the
tale of Beren and Lúthien?'

When looking, then, at what the previous chapter now does end with:
the choice of Lúthien, it seems to me likely that that is the reason
why this chapter starts with the after-word. By making her choice the
last thing of the chapter, her choice is emphasized beyond what it
could otherwise have been, emphasizeing anew the extraordinary nature
of this story: only approached in two other of the great stories:
Tuor's story and that of their descendants, Eärendil and Elwing.

It just struck me that if we look at the Great Tales:

The Flight of the Noldor
Beren and Lúthien
The Children of Húrin
The Fall of Gondolin
The Voyages of Eärendil

One common link is that of fate and doom.

It is in the story of Flight of the Noldor (in which I include more
than what is in that chapter of the published /Silmarillion/) that
the Noldor, and in particular the Fëanorians, seal their fate.
Both the Tale of Beren and Lúthien and the Tale of Gondolin focus, in
many ways, about the concept of fate, and both end by one of the main
characters actually /altering/ their fate. The story of Túrin is,
naturally, epitomized wonderfully by Túrin's own exclamation: 'A
Túrin Turambar turun ambartanen: master of doom by doom mastered!'
Finally we get, in the story of Elwing and Eärendil, the story of
those of double fate, who get to choose their own fate (not altering
it, but 'collapsing the wave-function', so to speak), but also the
fulfillment of the fates laid out in the other tales.

>> Was it cruel of Luthien to visit her father and mother again when
>> she knew that her tidings would cause only more grief?

It was both cruel and kind, but with the balance to the good side --
but had she chosen not to, it would have been the other way around
with the balance shifted to cruel.

>> Why do you think Beren and Luthien quickly departed from Doriath?
>> (My own opinion is that they wanted to spare Thingol and Melian
the
>> agony of watching their once immortal child grow old and die.) Why
>> are Beren and Luthien drawn eastward toward the mountains rather
>> than southward to the forests? Why is it important to note that no
>> one saw Beren & Luthien pass away?

In message <news:C_%Sg.6389$GR....@newssvr29.news.prodigy.net>
"Phlip" <phli...@yahoo.com> enriched us with:

>
> The answer to all of them is the same: The Valar (or Eru?) granted
> Luthien and Beren a special exemption from both their fates. In
> exchange, they are awarded only one thing:

Eh? The exemption from their fate was what they were awarded. Lúthien
got a choice, and she chose to return to Middle-earth as a mortal
/without/ any guarantees, but also without any restrictions or
obligations.

> The ability to live together as husband and wife, for one mortal
> lifetime, deep in one peaceful forest. Their role in the War of the
> Jewels is now over, and they may neither participate with their
> original cultures nor influence the War's outcome.

I don't agree that there was any restrictions on them by the Valar,
but clearly they had no desire to do other than retreat to that
forest (more or less -- there are more exceptions than one, but we'll
get to them later).

The crucial concept about Lúthien's choice is that it binds the fates
of Beren and herself together, even /after/ (their second) death,
when they go beyond the circles of the world where there is more than
memory (to paraphrase Aragorn); Lúthien chose to be with Beren rather
than with her own kin. This aspect is stronger in the older QS
tradition (see [LR]) where the other option is that /both/ are
reembodied in Valinor, but Beren still as mortal, who must eventually
go beyond the Music, separating him from Lúthien.

She chooses specifically to forgo the certainty of bliss in Valinor,
in favour of the uncertainty of mortal life in Middle-earth.

That they chose to remove themselves from the scene of action after
their return is, I think, dictated by several considerations; most of
them, however, story-external.

Story-internally they have got all they were questing for -- each
other, and further fighting would merely jeopardize that
unnecessarily.

> And of course the one exception that proves this rule is their son,
> Dior himself.

And Beren regaining the Silmaril from the Dwarves, of course . . .

<snip>

>> Is it significant or mere coincidence that Maedhros, who lived
>> closer to Tol Galen than Fingon and hence would have been among
>> the first to hear the tales of the deeds of Beren and Luthien,
>> decided that it was time to make common league and destroy the
>> threat of Morgoth?

I don't think that closeness to Tol Galen, or even Doriath, mattered
much in this -- the Tale would have been out all over Beleriand
before very long, both among Men and Eldar.

Maedhros, however, had several qualities speaking for him as the one
to come up with the.

He was more personally interested in the fate of the Silmarils (after
all he had taken the Oath of Fëanor, which Fingon had not).

Maedhros would also look at the tale of Beren and Lúthien as
inspirational in this way, rather than (as some of his brothers)
seeing it as pointing to an accissible Silmaril.

He also strikes me as the leader of Fëanor's sons. He was the one who
relinquished the Fëanorian claim to the High Kingship of the Noldor,
and though they may grumble about it, his brothers accepted that.

All in all Maedhros' motivation to be inspired by Lúthien and Beren's
story (and their return would not matter in that, I think) to the
idea of regaining the other Silmarils and attacking Morgoth was, I
believe, much stronger than for any other lord in Beleriand, and he
was uniquely in position to act upon that inspiration because of his
good relations with the High King.

>> Maedhros must certainly have felt guilty about the fact that he
had
>> ignored Fingolfin's earlier proposal for an assault on Angband. He
>> was also possibly the only son of Feanor who could persuade his
>> brothers to join with their kindred again. Is it possible that
>> Maedhros considers this a duty of atonement as well as a sensible
>> survival strategy?

I think that it was part of this motivations, whether consciously so
or not.

<snip>

>> The issue of just how much authority Elven kings wielded has been
>> discussed many times in this forum and, as far as I am aware, no
>> general consensus has emerged.

I've begun to formulate my own take on that issue -- not so much
based on hard evidence in the texts, as on softer evidence about
Tolkien's personal beliefs -- mostly from /Letters/.

E.g. from letter #52 to Christopher Tolkien 29 November 1943:

My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy
(philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control
not whiskered men with bombs) - or to 'unconstitutional'
Monarchy.

and (later in that paragraph):

The mediævals were only too right in taking /nolo
episcopari1/[1] as the best reason a man could give to
others for making him a bishop. Give me a king whose chief
interest in life is stamps, railways, or race-horses; and
who has the power to sack his Vizier (or whatever you care
to call him) if he does not like the cut of his trousers.
[1] Latin, 'I do not wish to be made a bishop.'

Furthermore, in all Tolkien's writings the domination of others is
presented as inherently evil; something which rhymes well both with
the views expressed in the letter, but also with the portrayal of
Aragorn's coronation, where the consent of the people is sought. I
think this exemplifies very well a more general truth of all the
'good' rulers: that they rule by the authority of the consent of
their subjects.

<snip>

I can't really add anything much to Williams comment on Gwindor -- I
agree with what he says.

<snip>

Thingol . . .

>> And every day that he looked upon the Silmaril the more he desired
>> to keep it for ever; for such was its power.

In message <news:4o4va2F...@individual.net> "Öjevind Lång"
<bredba...@ojevind.lang> enriched us with:

>
> In other words, it had the same power to enslave its owners as the
> One Ring.

I don't think that Tolkien, or I, would put it exactly like that ;)

Both had the power to ensnare others by its beauty and to enhance
what it found in its owner, but the Silmarils, hallowed by Arda,
surely didn't have any power to corrupt their owner or enslave him to
any other will than his own.

>> but Celegorm and Curufin vowed openly to slay Thingol and destroy
>> his people, if they came victorious from war, and the jewel were
>> not surrendered of free will.

In message <news:4o4va2F...@individual.net> "Öjevind Lång"
<bredba...@ojevind.lang> enriched us with:

>
> Celegorm and Curufin were real prizes. In my opinion, they would
> have been extremely nasty even if the Oath hadn't twisted them
> further. Many of their evil deeds were clearly not due to the Oath
> but to their native mentality.

Aye. These two brothers are indeed in the nasty department,
showcasing that not all Eldar were equally good, even if Tolkien
would, in /The Hobbit/ stated that, 'Still elves they were and
remain, and that is Good People.' Celegorm and Curufin seem an
exception to that rule.


[Keeping Doriath out of the Fifth Battle]

>> IMHO, this is Thingol's most despicable moment.

In message <news:451D72E1...@bwahahaha.indigo.ie>
Michael O'Neill <o...@bwahahaha.indigo.ie> enriched us with:

>
> On the contrary, his most dispicable moments were
> (i) locking his daughter up and
> (ii) sending Beren on a hopeless quest, one which he hoped would
> bring Beren's death.

I'd agree with that.

His haughty treatment of the dwarves would also rank up there -- even
if the dwarves were clearly in the wrong. Though perhaps that was
just incredibly stupid rather than despicable ;)

> From being the tallest and one of the fairest of the creatures of
> middle earth, Thingol fell to being little more than a bully.

And even against the advice of his wife (who did know better than
he).

> He was every bit as vain and ignorant as Feanor and his sons,
> saving only that his focus was on other things initially.

He did recover somewhat, though, after the return of Beren and
Lúthien, even if keeping the Silmaril meant that Doriath was ever
after at war with the sons of Fëanor (though while Lúthien carried it
the war cooled down).

> At the end, he was no more than they were, coveting a Silmaril and
> being killed for it byt the dwarves, who also coveted it, having
> set it within the Nauglamir.

Right.


>> It was not so long ago (as Elves reckon time) that Thingol had
>> promised that he would keep friendship with Fingolfin and his
>> people.

I suppose that one could, with some justification, argue that this
promise was void being made before some of Fingolfin's subjects
(nominally, at least) threatened war on Doriath. While I don't think
Thingol was very wise in all this (being probably blinded by his
admiration of the Silmaril), I think the sons of Fëanor, and Celegorm
and Curufin in particular, must bear the main part of the blame:
their involvement in Beren and Lúthien's great quest ought to have
stopped them from making any demands regarding the Silmaril the
couple won from Morgoth's crown.

>> Morgoth is also the common enemy of all Elves. Thingol has every
>> reason to join his host to that Fingon

[...]


>> By this choice, he earns a significant share of the blame for the
>> ultimate defeat and slaughter of the Eldar.

[...]

In message <news:4o4va2F...@individual.net> "Öjevind Lång"
<bredba...@ojevind.lang> enriched us with:

>
> I tend to agree. Still, if he had spent his army in the battle,
> what guarantee would he have had that the sons of Fëanor would not
> later have attacked his wekened realm to recover the Silmaril?

At most the power of Melian . . .

One can only wonder what Tolkien would have done to this part of the
Silmarillion had he ever got around to seriously updating it. In the
later versions of the mythology, the Eldar and the Ainur become more
exalted -- the Ainur become angelic (admittedly with the possibility
of a fall, but seemingly with no middle-stage: an unfallen Ainu is
Good, and a fallen Ainu Evil), and also the Eldar are increasingly
described as inherently good. How much of the jealousy, greed and
outright malice which characterizes the deeds of many of the Eldar in
the published /Silmarillion/ would remain if this change had been
carried through to the end?

In message
<news:1159587617.1...@e3g2000cwe.googlegroups.com>
"Count Menelvagor" <Menel...@mailandnews.com> enriched us with:

>
> it's all part of the curse. indeed it's another evil effect of
> the oath, as thingol's refusal to join in the war is partly due to
> the fact that feanor's sons were jerks. chip off the old block, i
> guess.

In addition to that, Thingol put himself under the Doom of the Noldor
when he coveted the Silmaril. Had he asked Beren to fetch Grond (or
something else) there is a chance that Doriath would never have
survived longer.

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

The major problem [encountered in time travel] is quite
simply one of grammar, and the main work to consult in this
matter is Dr Dan Streetmentioner's Time Traveller's
Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations.
- Douglas Adams, /The Restaurant at the End of the Universe/

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