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PotbellyHairyfoot
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Post Chapter quote;QS 7 - Of the Silmarils and The Unrest of The Noldor
on: May 04, 2016 11:07
And when Melkor saw that these lies were smouldering and that pride and anger were awake among the Noldor, he spoke to them concerning weapons; and in that time the Noldor began the smithying of swords and axes and spears....


You teach your enemies how to make weapons!! It appears that the Valar may have the leadership, but they do not have any large amount of wisdom to accompany it.


[Edited on 05/05/2016 by PotbellyHairyfoot]
Gandolorin
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on: May 05, 2016 04:09
Yes, but the (or some) Noldor obviously did not see Melkor as an enemy at this point. And more importantly, weapons were being fashioned in Valinor, something the (some) other Valar, most distressingly Manwë, still stuck in a naïve mode, apparently were unable to comprehend. That the Noldor slaughtered uncounted legions of his Orcs with these weapons later - so what. The wounds Fingolfin gave him in single combat after the Dagor Bragollach were another matter, but Melkor had already had his hands badly scorched by the Silmarils before that - seems to be the first serious masochist, in a way, does Melkor.
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The Lady Idril
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on: May 07, 2016 11:14
Weapons are not inherently bad--for instance, the Elves use them on many occasions to fight in just wars combatting evil. Additionally, weapons can be used for animal hunting purposes (generally acceptable when done within reason) and some weapons are considered works of art.

At this point, Valinor is kind of like the Garden of Eden before the fall--no one really knows just how powerful the dark forces they're up against are and everyone is having some problems adjusting.
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Gandolorin
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on: May 08, 2016 04:55
True, but those wars with the Orcs come later, and it has more than just an ironic touch that the weapons the Noldor forged at Melkor's instigation caused such tremendous mayhem among his Orcs in those later battles - but as I mentioned above, he didn't give farm-animal droppings about this. And from a strictly Valinor-centric (i.e. naïve) point of view, making arms, and at the instigation of Melkor, are evil acts beyond the shadow of a doubt.

One definite difference to the biblical Garden Eden is that the Valar have brought the snake into Valinor themselves - as a prisoner, true, but with the naïve hope that Melkor could really mend his ways. And I would guess that the Eldar were told something about why Melkor was jailed where he was, and about his deeds - unless the Valar were really catastrophically naïve.
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The Lady Idril
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on: May 08, 2016 05:13
I guess you could say this is the counter-example for the mercy/Gollum theme. While mercy is great (shown in Gollum's storyline) it can also go to far (this failure by the Valar). Classic Tolkien; showing both sides perfectly.
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Elthir
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on: May 08, 2016 08:14
There's another interesting alternative too, concerning the possibility of weapons on the Great March...

'Now the Quendi had possessed weapons in Middle-earth, but not of their own devising. They had been made by Aule and sent as gifts by the hand of Orome, when it became known to the Valar that the Quendi were beset by prowling evils that had discovered the places of their dwelling beside Cuivienen; and more were sent later for the defence of the Eldar upon the Great March to the shores of the Sea. But all these were long unused, and lay in hoard as memorials of old days half-forgotten; and since the chaining of Melkor the armouries of the Valar also had been shut.'

Morgoth's Ring, The Later Quenta Silmarillion (II), Later Ch. 6, S52a, pp. 276-27


Christopher Tolkien chose not to incorporate this LQII idea into the 1977 Silmarillion of course.

Also, there's an essay called Osanwe-kenta, probably dating to 1959-60 (published in 1998, in Vinyar Tengwar 39). In this work, made by an unnamed redactor (although obviously Tolkien is the author, he gives the text an internal author and redactor), the matter of how Manwe and the Valar treated Melkor (at times) arises. It begins...

"If we speak last of the "folly" of Manwe and the weakness and unwariness of the Valar, let us beware how we judge. (...)"


Obviously that's just the start, but it's a bit long to type out the whole thing. I suppose, for considerations of space, Christopher Tolkien had to choose which texts to publish in The War of the Jewels, and which texts to leave out and publish later. Anyway, this section might mitigate the feelings some have when they characterize some of the Valar's dealings with Melkor...

... maybe... maybe not... but if you (anyone) can get your hands on a copy I highly recommend the text to anyone who hasn't read it yet. As usual, Tolkien hides some gems in his more linguistic based material, and in my opinion this essay is not overly technical from a linguistic standpoint.

Anyway, just adding a couple bits.

[Edited on 05/08/2016 by Elthir]
Elfeawen Lomiondil
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on: May 19, 2016 05:31
That sounds very interesting, Elthir. Thanks for sharing. I do not feel that the Valar were weak or stupid. A lot of people call them naive, which feels closer to the mark. They are not people like us. They are hard to understand. Their natures seem to be simpler and purer. I think Iluvatar would have understood how they would behave when he allowed them to enter Arda. It was amenable to his plan.

In the end, I think it is better to error from pureness of heart than to never show mercy or put your faith in the power of redemption.
"There shall be war between the Children of Iluvatar and the Ainu Melko. What if we perish in our quest? The dark halls of Vê be little worse than this bright prison" ~ Fëanor
Gandolorin
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on: May 20, 2016 03:38
Elfeawen Lomiondil said:... In the end, I think it is better to error from pureness of heart than to never show mercy or put your faith in the power of redemption...

Here I disagree severely. What would such an error have meant in World War II??? What would the (few) survivors of this carnage have thought of this "pureness of heart"? I think nothing that can be posted on this PG-13 site! Abdicating your responsibility from what you might have done, and could have done, to counter evil is as evil as the original!

P.S. This may be fitting here, I think so, at any rate:
"The way to Hell is paved with good intentions!"

[Edited on 05/20/2016 by Gandolorin]
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Elfeawen Lomiondil
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on: May 20, 2016 05:42
How would mercy contribute to the horrors of World War II? Maybe there would have been no second world war if people had been more merciful after World War I.

I didn't say anything about abdicating responsibility. If I make a decision to spare a life (I am a pacifist at any rate) I must accept responsibility for whatever comes of it. Having said that, I believe individuals are still responsible for their own actions.

You can give someone a second chance at life, and they might abuse it. I understand that. But I think it unjust and plain wrong to never show mercy and never believe in redemption. The loss to the world of the worthy you condemn to suffer with the unworthy can never be known and is incalculably great. It is far easier to point to acts of evil that could have been prevented with the deceptive perfection of hindsight.

I'm curious, do you also think Frodo was wrong to be merciful to Gollum? I think it is better to try and have your efforts fail than to never try at all.
"There shall be war between the Children of Iluvatar and the Ainu Melko. What if we perish in our quest? The dark halls of Vê be little worse than this bright prison" ~ Fëanor
Gandolorin
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on: May 21, 2016 02:33
Elfeawen Lomiondil said:1) ... Maybe there would have been no second world war if people had been more merciful after World War I.
...
2) I'm curious, do you also think Frodo was wrong to be merciful to Gollum? I think it is better to try and have your efforts fail than to never try at all.

1) That is a speculation which has occurred to many people. And Woodrow Wilson apparently had something in mind that was decidedly different from what the outcome of the Treaty of Versailles turned out to be. It was stupid even then; in retrospect it caused a far greater disaster than the "war fought to end all wars."

2) To indulge in a bit of Middle-earth "blasphemy", Frodo understood Gollum / Sméagol far better than the Valar understood Melkor. Of course he had benefited from Bilbo's story and Gandalf's wisdom about Gollum - Eru would have been the analogy for the Valar ...

[Edited on 05/21/2016 by Gandolorin]
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