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post #11 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-11-09, 04:35 PM
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Aye, Unfinished tales is good too. Other notable reads could be the children of Hurin and the History of Middle Earth series, can learn quite a bit from them.

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post #12 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-11-09, 06:22 PM
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I wasn't too impressed with 'The Tale of the Children of Hurin' to be honest.

Some of "the History of Middle Earth" I've found good, others not so good... what I've read (not all or even close, what, 12 volumes are they up to now?) has been interesting but sometimes very hard going, because so fragmented.

On the other hand, Christopher admitted years ago that, knowing what he knows now, the Silmarillion should never have been published, he'd have just tried harder to get the get the 'History...' out better and faster...

They're very different both in scope and execution to LotR and therefore aren't everyone's cup of tea (at all; even some people who like the Silmarillion think 'enough is enough'). On the other hand, they're a really interesting insight into how the story developed - eg, the earliest version of Beren and Luthien - "once there was an elf called Gimli who found a magic ring..." (I paraphrase); elf becomes man, Gimli becomes Beren, and ring becomes jewel; and there we have the story of the Silmarils...

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post #13 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-12-09, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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i am pretty sure almost any character from the 1st through 3rd ages in the Silmarillion could woop on anyone in the LotR. as for how the Silmarils were made it was Feanor who made them, my question is did the Viel of Melian shield that land from the sundering of Beleriand? I mean somehow Galadrial still lives in a shielded forest so one must think.

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post #14 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-12-09, 11:57 AM
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i am pretty sure almost any character from the 1st through 3rd ages in the Silmarillion could woop on anyone in the LotR...
I don't think there's any evidence for this. Elendil is pretty clearly in my opinion regarded as an avatar of Tuor, and Aragorn of Elendil, for instance, leading to a pretty easy equivalence of Tuor=Aragorn. Elrond and Galadriel are both characters from the First Age who survive into the Third, and by the time of LotR Galadriel has her Ring which would suggest that she'd be more powerful than she was in the First Age.

I really can't get my head round the idea that there's been a great diminution in the powers of the heroes. It just seems... lacking in evidence.

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...as for how the Silmarils were made it was Feanor who made them...
The relevance being what?

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... my question is did the Viel of Melian shield that land from the sundering of Beleriand? I mean somehow Galadrial still lives in a shielded forest so one must think.
No, she just used some of the same techniques of magical hiding. Galadriel is not Melian, Celeborn is not Thingol, Doriath is not Lorien.

On a more prosaic level, Tolkien just kept recycling the same plot elements over and over.

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Gotta war across the Milky Way - "
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post #15 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-12-09, 05:39 PM
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I really can't get my head round the idea that there's been a great diminution in the powers of the heroes. It just seems... lacking in evidence.
this is a sensible conclusion, but unfortunately the power of the heroes and villains of the third age of Middle Earth was much lesser than those of the First Age.

Galadriel and Elrond hint to this in the LotR books, with the passing of the Elves into the Undying Lands. Galadriel herself even mentions that she will diminish (after being tempted by the One Ring, IIRC).

also, the Gondorians are the descendants of the Island of Numeror. the Numenorians founded Gondor and Arnor. Eventually, due to human fallacy and evil powers, Arnor ceased to exist as a nation until Aragorn became king of Gondor and Arnor (the Re United Kingdom, IIRC??? not sure...). the only thing left of them were the Rangers of Arnor, the people that Aragorn came from.

Gondor itself was weak by the War of the Ring, but even then potent despite its weakness. After the Numenorians fled the sinking of their island and founded their kingdoms, they bred with 'Lesser Men', causing the 'pure' blood of Numenor to weaken over time.

that's why Elendil, Isildur (and the Numenorians in general), and their immediate relative descendants lived for hundreds of years while Aragorn lived to be less than 200 years old; i know he was in his 80s during the War of the Ring, and he ruled for 80 years, but not sure on that either.

not even Sauron, prime bad guy of the 3rd Age was as powerful as Melkor. Melkor was one of the Valar created by Eru Illuvatar (the 'prime' god of Middle Earth) to make the song of creation with the other Valar. Sauron was a servant of Melkor (a Maia, i think) who took over his master's role after Melkor was vanished 'beyond the Void'.

just for comparison: in the 1st/2nd Ages of Middle Earth, Dwarves, Elves, and Men united to fight ARMIES of Balrogs. the 3rd Age only had one Balrog, and look how much trouble it caused.

here, endeth the lesson
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post #16 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-12-09, 05:58 PM
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On a more prosaic level, Tolkien just kept recycling the same plot elements over and over.
Of Beren and Lśthien comes to mind. I've often wondered if the Ring of Barahir had anything to do with it. It was originally given to Barahir by the elven lord Finrod Felagund, and it was passed down to Beren, Elendil, and so on until it reached Aragorn, who returned it to the hands of an Elf.
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post #17 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-12-09, 06:46 PM
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Sauron was a servant of Melkor (a Maia, i think) who took over his master's role after Melkor was vanished 'beyond the Void'.
Sauron was a Maia of Aule (like Saruman).

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just for comparison: in the 1st/2nd Ages of Middle Earth, Dwarves, Elves, and Men united to fight ARMIES of Balrogs. the 3rd Age only had one Balrog, and look how much trouble it caused.
True, but I believe that has more to do with Tolkien not updating the Silmarillion than it has with Balrogs being uber monsters and still dying in droves. I think late in life Tolkien stated that there were only 7 Balrogs.
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post #18 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-12-09, 07:35 PM
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this is ... the lesson
It also doesn't evidence anything that you claim it does.

Galadriel will dimish. Not has diminished. She has arguably more power at the end of the Third Age than in the First; and she (according to the Silmirillion) is the most powerful of the Eldar, along with Feanor. There is no suggestion that her personal power has diminished. Therefore, no 1st Age elf is more powerful (in game terms, read 'had better stats than') Galadriel at the time of the War of the Ring.

The 'Diminishing of the Elves' is a comment about their society, not their individual prowess. America for instance has a bigger economy than Belgium. This does not mean an American is bound to beat a Belgian in a fight. The two are unrelated.

Tolkien, in the Appendices to LotR says that there was no sudden 'lessening' of the lifespans of the Numenoreans, despite the fears of it, after the Gondorians bred with the men of Rhovanion; on other words it wasn't a racial thing. The lessening of the lifespan was due to them being further from Valinor, and therefore at the time of the Edain in Beleriand (when they were pretty much the same distance from Valinor), they'd have had the same lifespan as other men; in other words, the Edain of the First Age in terms of their lifespans were equivalent to Rohirrim or Dunlendings. Again however this gradual, none-racially determined 'lessening' in their lifespans has nothing to do with how 'mighty' they are. They could be exceedingly mighty - but short lived ("the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long... and you have burned so very very brightly, Roy" as Tyrrell says in Blade Runner).

The fact that Sauron is not as powerful as Morgoth means nothing. You may as well argue that in the Hobbit, a Goblin King ruled in the Misty Mountains, but in LotR a Balrog did, so things were increasing in power. You're taking two unrelated phenomena and attempting to join them. Melkor was a Vala. Sauron was a Maia. So what? Flowers are smaller than trees. Shit! Everything's shrinking!

Dinadan mentions the Balrogs; hmm, yes, well, the stories did change and mutate, and the story of the Fall of Gondolin was never updated (which is why Christopher had to retitle it "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin" because the revised version never dealt with the Fall. Which, incidently, is almost certainly why Glorfindel, last seen dead in a ditch at the end of the First Age, should appear on the back of a horse in the Third, rescuing hobbits and lecturing kings. It may well be that the companies of dragons and Balrogs would have been scaled back somewhat.

I repeat; there's no evidence for the view that people were less powerful in the Third than in the Second or First Ages, and in some cases it's pretty explicit that they weren't weaker, and there are even suggestions that some may have been stronger (eg Galadriel).

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post #19 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-12-09, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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what i meant about my comment about feanor and his making of the silmarils was because i had read a post earlier stating someone else had made them. but that's beside the point. i still had fast to me belief about the difference in heros, the reason the first age is seen as glorious and full of larger than life people is because there were so many of them. sure aragorn would be considered among the great if he was around back then but because there are fewer "great" beings in his time it sort of diminishes his picture a bit, at least in my eyes.

also it has been stated that people like isildur and so on would also be counted among the greats back then, i have to disagree here. he faced sauron, who in the first age, was terrible yes but a second hand evil compared to half the other shit running around. i dont know, alls i know is that the likes of Fingolfin, who took on Melkor and injured him pretty badly, and Feanor, who killed inumerable enemies before finally beeng surrounded and beaten down, will never be seen again.

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"A fortress is a living thing: the commander its brain, the walls its bones, the sensors its eyes and ears, the troops its blood, their weapons its fists. This tells us two things: If one organ fails, the whole dies. And if the whole dies, no single organ can survive alone."
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post #20 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-12-09, 08:26 PM
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meh.

we'll disagree on this one.

the only person that would be more powerful in the 3rd age than the 1st would indeed be Galadriel, but she didn't do much to help in the War of the Ring in comparison to Gandalf, the hobbits, or even Elrond. so fie for all the power she had.

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The 'Diminishing of the Elves' is a comment about their society, not their individual prowess.
exactly; since the Elves were leaving Middle Earth in droves there wasn't much of an Eldar society in Middle Earth. it was in Valinor. the Elves could have been more powerful Valinor, but we don't know that.

and how many Elves were there by the 3rd Age? i can think of four major Eldar enclaves: Cirdain the Shipwright's, Galadrial's, Elrond's, and the realm of Legolas' father.

to me that points a diminishing in society and a population, and thus power. considering that at one point the Elves were the only race on Middle Earth, and far more advanced than Men. yeah, individuals may have been powerful, but not as race.

IMHO, the idea that 3rd Age Middle Earthers as opposed to 1st/2nd Age Middle Earthers comes from the scope of things that happened within the story of Middle Earth, from the Silmarillion to the Return of the King.

meaning that someone(s) who fights amies of dragons, Balrogs, and has the balls to fight a Vala comes across as more powerful than someone who fights a tribe of Orcs. yeah, the logic is skewed, but there it is, and that why (again, IMO) that 3rd Age Middle Earthers appear weaker.

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It may well be that the companies of dragons and Balrogs would have been scaled back somewhat
but they weren't. and it's because of this that the view of weaker 3rd Agers will persist whether what you said is true or not.

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The lessening of the lifespan was due to them being further from Valinor, and therefore at the time of the Edain in Beleriand (when they were pretty much the same distance from Valinor), they'd have had the same lifespan as other men
i'll take you word on this, but i've never found it in my reading but it has been a while. i thought that the Numenoreans were rewarded with an island and extended life for their support in the wars of Beleriand.

and i always thought that Elendil was longed lived because he chose a mortal life, as opposed Earendil who chose an eternal life.

or am i mixing those guys with someone else?

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there's no evidence for the view that people were less powerful in the Third than in the Second or First Ages
no, but i think the lack of evidence leads to that conclusion. i can't think of many displays of power in the War of the Ring that equal the displays of power in the Silmarillion.

the one person that i thought was way powerful Tom Bombadil, since the Ring had no effect on him whatsoever.

EDIT: in hindsight, having thought about it some more, whether or not Tolkien meant to or not, i think that the War of the Ring is meant to be a story of hope of Mankind for itself.

i've always been asked, 'if Gandalf was so powerful, why didn't he just beat up Sauron and throw the Ring in the volcano himself.' aside from the explanation that Gandalf gives, i think that part of the story has to do with Mankind rescuing itself without the help of gods (Valar) or riding the coat tails of the Elves or Dwarves.

perhaps the Elves (at least) seemed to be less powerful because they no longer had no interest in Middle Earth. after being around the 1st and 2nd Ages of Middle Earth (a really long time), that would make sense to me.

It's possible that Illuvatar wants Mankind to stand on its own, and realize it's own potential.

and i'm not trying to convince you, Red Orc, or any one of any thing, that's simiply what i concluded after reading Tolkien.

Last edited by Inquisitor Malaclypse; 03-12-09 at 09:08 PM.
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