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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by Music of the Ainur on Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:19 am

Lancebloke wrote:Petty.... I thought the ring was wrought as something to focus his powers... so to make him stronger than he would normally have been.

Re your points Music... I often wonder that about many stories or films etc. Seems to happen a lot. Even if they hadn't have tried to kill Morgoth,  wasn't the whole war about the sons of feanor getting the Silmarils back? Why didn't they take all 3? I am sure that would have had consequences of its own but it may have prevented some issues... maybe even drawn Morgoth out much sooner than he planned.

Well I believe in fact the whole war was about Morgoth trying to dominate M.E. The seven sons of Feanor took the oath to never stop trying to get the Silmarils back, but the rest of the Noldor never took that oath and they departed Valinor in the hope of developing their own kingdoms and stretching out on their own. Yes I am sure they hated Morgoth but I don't thing their main purpose for leaving the undying lands was to war on Morgoth... not to mention the Dark elves or others beings who were having to defend themselves against Morgoths attacks who certainly never took any oath to defeat Morgoth. His was their enemy because he kept attacking them.

Beren did think of taking them all or at least two and tried to remove another of the Silmarils from the fallen crown where by his sword broke and it nicked Morgoths cheek and made him stir in his sleep. The iron crown was too heavy for him to just take the whole thing I suppose so he had to extract the stones before he could carry them off. That is how I recall it, I believe at least in the Silmarillion that is how it is written. I am re- reading that presently but haven't gotten back to that part. It may have been in one of the other versions of the tale where I am remembering that from.

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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by Lancebloke on Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:52 pm

Well... There wasn't really a war until Morgoth and Ungoliant destroyed the trees and stole the Silmarils. Everything that followed was because of that.

The Noldor were split as Feanor went after Morgoth taking the best part of his people with him, although for various reasons. They assaulted Thangorodrim and started the all out war.

Feanor obviously died pretty quickly buy his sons took the oath to get back the jewels which carried the war on. Before then, there was no open war. Dorothy was protected and fell after the Nauglamir incident. Gondolin fell as they were allied with the Noldor and a major threat to Morgoth and his power.

As I said, returning all 3 jewels to the sons may have resulted in something different if it was possible to get them. Like you say, he seems to have tried at least but if successful I wonder what would have happened.

Being the stupid question thread and all...
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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by Lancebloke on Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:56 pm

Here is another... How in the blue hell did earendil and the eagles defeat ancalagon?
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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by halfwise on Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:45 pm

Really good point about not taking the chance to kill Melkor when the chance was there. I can see after having been just woken up from a sleep one isn't thinking clearly...and the quest was to get a silmaril after all, so that would have been uppermost in Beren's mind. And there's also a built in inhibition about not killing someone in a fair fight. Killing the dude while he's asleep is hardly something to be proud of.

Tolkien is not always logical - sending a dozen or so dwarves on a quest to recover a kingdom from a dragon doesn't exactly make sense either. Somewhere online I've read a complaint about the bit where Tinuviel was the only one to ever convince Mandos to release a mortal: "...for her sorrows were deeper than their sorrows..." and the writer was saying this was an awfully arrogant statement to be making about a princess whose life wasn't nearly as full of misery as so many others who had been through war or famine.

So I don't agree with many purists arguments that start off with the assumption that Tolkien was perfect. He was a damn fine writer and that let him get away with some things, but the reason not to change the story isn't so much because of logic - it's that the original is already too good and well known to attempt to change unless you really have to.

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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by halfwise on Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:55 pm

Lancebloke wrote:Here is another... How in the blue hell did earendil and the eagles defeat ancalagon?

You'd think that ship Earendil was in would be burnt to a crisp. I'm not really sure how any hero was supposed to have slain a dragon with a sword...how do you get close enough? Are dragons really that stupid? Turin has to hide in a crevasse and stab as the dragon passed over - clearly Tolkien understood the problem. But you don't exactly sneak up on a dragon in a flying boat. Unless you've got Earendil diving out of the sun and leaping onto his back I just don't see it happening.

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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by Elthir on Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:32 pm

Nice illustration... but is Huan further/farther/firther/ferther/fyrther away than he appears?

'But Sauron dominates all the multiplying hordes of Men that have had no contact with the Elves and so indirectly with the true and unfallen Valar and gods. He rules a growing empire from the great dark tower of Barad-dûr in Mordor, near the Mountain of Fire, wielding the One Ring.

But to achieve this he had been obliged to let a great part of his own inherent power (a frequent and very significant motive in myth and fairy-story) pass into the One Ring. While he wore it, his power on earth was actually enhanced. But even if he did not wear it, that power existed and was in 'rapport' with himself: he was not 'diminished'. Unless some other seized it and became possessed of it. If that happened, the new possessor could (if sufficiently strong and heroic by nature) challenge Sauron, become master of all that he had learned or done since the making of the One Ring, and so overthrow him and usurp his place. This was the essential weakness he had introduced into his situation in his effort (largely unsuccessful) to enslave the Elves, and in his desire to establish a control over the minds and wills of his servants.'

JRRT, letter number something something

I always thought [or maybe I wasn't thinking] that this was 'the bargain' so to speak: for control of the other Rings, and secret domination of the Ring-wearers through the One, Sauron was obliged to impart a measure of 'himself' into the One.

But now, if the object itself could be destroyed, so too would the power within it, and so 'taken' from Sauron himself, in a sense. And this would prove too much -- now instead of his body being destroyed [Numenor/Last Alliance] only to await his ultimate return [if slower after the Last Alliance de-bodying], Sauron could not return as an incarnate being, but would remain impotent.

'There was another weakness: if the One Ring was actually unmade, annihilated, then its power would be dissolved, Sauron’s own being would be diminished to vanishing point, and he would be reduced to a shadow, a mere memory of malicious will.'

Or perhaps more 'in depth'...

From Morgoth's Ring, Text VII, Myths Transformed

[...] The Elves certainly held and taught that fear or 'spirits' may grow of their own life (independently of the body), even as they may be hurt and healed, be diminished and renewed. [The following was added marginally after the page was written: If they do not sink below a certain level. Since no fea can be annihilated, reduced to zero or not-existing, it is no[t] clear what is meant. Thus Sauron was said to have fallen below the point of ever recovering, though he had previously recovered. What is probably meant is that a 'wicked' spirit becomes fixed in a certain desire or ambition, and if it cannot repent then this desire becomes virtually its whole being. But the desire may be wholly beyond the weakness it has fallen to, and it will then be unable to withdraw its attention from the unobtainable desire, even to attend to itself. It will then remain for ever in impotent desire or memory of desire.]

Thus Sorehead introduced weaknessessessess [sorry couldn't stop] in certain ways, though the One was on his finger and he never contemplated that anyone could destroy it in any case, but it would have been worth it had the ruse worked. Plan A was to deceive the Elves and master them through trickery. Plan B included other peoples like Men and Dwarves, when plan A went wrong.

The Dwarrows can claim that they received a Ring of Power from the Elves directly, but I don't buy it  Very Happy
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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by Elthir on Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:56 pm

Sigurd dug a pit under the oncoming Fafnir. Hmm. Tolkien purposely left much of this war to the imagination, explaining its misty textual nature due to source, or that is, the lack of a good source from actual witnessessess [sorry couldn't stop again].

Then again Tolkien was musing about Turin somehow slaying Ancalagon too -- or at least having a prophecy about Turin returning to slay this dragon at [seemingly] the same battle.

Then again I dunno. Earendil had a Silmaril, a shining boat, a sharp spear, and wonderful aim? Ancalagon had no jooly underside protection? Earendil had a lot of archers with him?

Earendil hid in a cloud and, standing atop the mast, stabbed Mr Rushing Jaws from beneath?


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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by Radaghast on Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:03 pm

Re: how Earendil was able to kill Ancalagon, my best guess is that he had the armies of the Valar with him, so he probably had their weapons. Alternatively (or in addition), TH mentions how all dragons have a weak spot. And didn't all dragons have soft underbellies?  I'm not sure Ancalagon had gems and stuff embedded in his underside like Smaug did.

Whoops, looks like Elthir already made the same observations.


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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by Radaghast on Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:12 pm

One observation I have about the Ring is, if it was supposed to draw the Nazgul, it wasn't very good at it, unless someone put it on. But this is never stated outright. Gandalf warns Frodo not to put it on, but never says why. Aragorn says it draws them, but there is that first encounter where the Rider inexplicably spurs his horse onward when he's maybe 20 feet away from Frodo. The Witch-king seems to sense the Ring in Morgul vale but is apparently not sure enough to do anything about it. So it's implicit that the bearer must wear the Ring for the Nazgul to know about it but for reasons I can't see, Tolkien never made this plain in the text.

Sauron's own rapport with the Ring seems to be rather weak. He can't sense it within his own realm, even when Sam puts it on. Even in Mt. Doom he doesn't realize it's there until Frodo puts it on.

It could be I'm missing something but I never seem to find what that might be.

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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by Radaghast on Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:16 pm

halfwise wrote:Tolkien is not always logical - sending a dozen or so dwarves on a quest to recover a kingdom from a dragon doesn't exactly make sense either.
I'm sure other dwarves of the Blue Mountains thought as much, likely thinking it a fool's errand, which is why only a ragtag bunch from Thorin's clan undertook the quest. The part that doesn't make much sense to me is that they went without weapons, except knives  Question 

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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by Lancebloke on Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:08 pm

I wondered about the ring in more or thing... although that may be explained by the various distractions in the war... The appearance of isildurs heir, the uniting of the free people, possibility of the ring in minas tirith, fall of the witch king, the march of aragorn. Very distracting things that he was fearful of.
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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by Lancebloke on Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:11 pm

It would have been good to have some more detail of the war. How did they defeat the hosts of balrogs. The other winged dragons and then Ancalagon himself.
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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:23 pm

Just installed this mod in Skyrim, once I find a dragon I'll let you know how how its done!


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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by Lancebloke on Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:25 pm

Not just any dragon though..... the greatest dragon that has ever been!
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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by halfwise on Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:33 pm

Lancebloke wrote:It would have been good to have some more detail of the war. How did they defeat the hosts of balrogs.  The other winged dragons and then Ancalagon himself.

This may be one of the few places where Jackson's propensity to make shit up may actually come in handy. (don't attack me all at once).

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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:34 pm

Shocked 

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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by Lancebloke on Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:52 pm

Halfy........ really?
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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by halfwise on Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:58 pm

Give him that one theme: the War of Wrath to film. Nobody knows what went on there anyway. Just keep him away from everything else.

I was gonna say there was no chance of a love triangle to worry about, but then I might have said the same thing about the Hobbit.   Mad 

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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:32 pm

Well, they had to make up a entierly new character and then tell the actress playing her that there certainly wouldn't be a love triangle to get there. But they got there in the end.

After all that's what matters.

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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by Music of the Ainur on Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:56 pm

halfwise wrote:...about not taking the chance to kill Melkor when the chance was there.  I can see after having been just woken up from a sleep one isn't thinking clearly...and the quest was to get a silmaril after all, so that would have been uppermost in Beren's mind.  And there's also a built in inhibition about not killing someone in a fair fight.  Killing the dude while he's asleep is hardly something to be proud of.

Tolkien is not always logical - sending a dozen or so dwarves on a quest to recover a kingdom from a dragon doesn't exactly make sense either

Of course I get that logic isn't required to hold in tales. He is a master of getting the reader to suspend disbelief for sure. I am not trying to belittle him in any way. It was just a thought that came to me years ago the first time I read the Sil.

... True he was just waking up and he probably had it in his mind to do the deed and get outta dodge...I get your point about it not being the most honorable way to rid Ea of Morgoth and perhaps these highly honorable beings think more like you... Myself I would have taken the chance to wack him, sin or not. But I don't think too many folks would have begrudged him that. It was a man vs. Vala after all and all the crimes Morgoth commited makes all fair in love and war I should think.

Elthir: I looked for art to attach to my post and this one was fairly interesting to me, except for Huan of course. He looks a bit small  and not very much like he was up to giving Carcharoth a good fight or to ride eh? But maybe it is as you say he is further away.

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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:20 pm

I think what was important here for Tolkien was the reason Beren was there and doing this at all- love.

And its not just that in terms of story telling Beren whacking Morgoth one would have interfered with that structuring, its also that Beren's aim was to get the bride price so he could marry the person he loved.

Tolkien puts love not just above violence but above all the suffering that would yet befall because no one did get rid of Morgoth. Pure love with no other motivation flows from the one loving God, there can be nothing higher.

And that for me is entirely in keeping with Tolkien's religious undercurrents in his work.


"Tolkien is not always logical - sending a dozen or so dwarves on a quest to recover a kingdom from a dragon doesn't exactly make sense either"- Halfwise

Tolkien doesn't do that! PJ does!!!  Evil or Very Mad 
In the book they are going to try to steal some treasure to ease their longing, that's why Gandalf convinces them to hire a burglar and why he puts the trade sign for 'burglar for hire' on Bilbo's front door.

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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by Music of the Ainur on Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:09 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I think what was important here for Tolkien was the reason Beren was there and doing this at all- love.

And its not just that in terms of story telling Beren whacking Morgoth one would have interfered with that structuring, its also that Beren's aim was to get the bride price so he could marry the person he loved.

Tolkien puts love not just above violence but above all the suffering that would yet befall because no one did get rid of Morgoth. Pure love with no other motivation flows from the one loving God, there can be nothing higher.

And that for me is entirely in keeping with Tolkien's religious undercurrents in his work.


"Tolkien is not always logical - sending a dozen or so dwarves on a quest to recover a kingdom from a dragon doesn't exactly make sense either"- Halfwise

Tolkien doesn't do that! PJ does!!!  Evil or Very Mad 
In the book they are going to try to steal some treasure to ease their longing, that's why Gandalf convinces them to hire a burglar and why he puts the trade sign for 'burglar for hire' on Bilbo's front door.

All very valid points I must agree. It just seemed to stand out to me as the One chance anyone ever had to rid the world of Morgoth and it was not cashed in on. It is just my own crass baseness that would cause me to think and speak such thoughts I guess. pirat  I dig the whole tale of someone daring to enter hell itself and wrestle with the devil for love. It is a grand and beautiful story...Besides if that would have been the end of Melkor then what would have become of the rest of the great story?

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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by Tinuviel on Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:12 am

The knife Beren used snapped after he cut off the one Silmaril. I'm not sure what else he could have done with just his bare hands. And it said it wasn't his fate to take anymore, that's why the knife snapped and a shard hit Morgoth, making him stir in his sleep. How could Beren or Luthien have killed him if a shard didn't even wake him up? And Luthien was spent, so she couldn't do anything. Love was what got them there, and as soon as the thought of greed entered their minds, they almost failed. Yes, Beren had a chance, but he would have ended up dead and not have killed Morgoth, thus ceasing the line he created with Luthien before they even had the chance to get married!

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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by halfwise on Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:44 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:
"Tolkien is not always logical - sending a dozen or so dwarves on a quest to recover a kingdom from a dragon doesn't exactly make sense either"- Halfwise

Tolkien doesn't do that! PJ does!!!  Evil or Very Mad 
In the book they are going to try to steal some treasure to ease their longing, that's why Gandalf convinces them to hire a burglar and why he puts the trade sign for 'burglar for hire' on Bilbo's front door.

I'm gonna have to go back and scour the book - actually I don't remember a clear reason being given at all; they kind of dance around it. Just a song about reclaiming their ill gotten gold or something, which could imply anything from reclaiming a kingdom to stealing a few bags and nothing more.

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Re: Stupid Questions

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:15 pm

In TH they dont talk about reclaiming homeland- just about treasure.

In UT in the Quest for Erebor when Gandalf met Thorin at Bree Thorin was all for plans of war against Smaug (so presumably did want to retake his homeland in concept) but it was all talk, he didnt have the means or a plan and Gandalf couldn't see how he would do it anyway.
The plan they carried out according to UT was not in fact Thorins but Gandalfs- he suggested it to Thorin and cajoled him into going with the idea of a 'burglar'-

'As soon as Throin saw them (map and key) he really made up his mind to follow my plan, as far as a secret expedition went at any rate. Whatever he thought of Bilbo he would have set out himself. The existence of a secret door, only discoverable by dwarves, made it seem at least possible to find out something of the Dragon's doings, perhaps even to recover some gold, or some heirloom to ease his heart longings.'- UT

So the quest in TH is not to kill Smaug or reclaim anything except maybe some heirlooms and a bit of gold, its more an initial sortie to get the lie of the land regards Smaug with, presumably, the hope they would find something out which might make one day make retaking the mountain possible.

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