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PotbellyHairyfoot
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Post SQ 13- of the Return of the Noldor
on: July 04, 2016 06:05
1)Thingol reminded them that he was king over all of Beleriand but granted the Noldor leave to settle in certain specific areas. Maedhros claimed that Thingol was only giving them lands where he never held control anyway. Who was right? Should Maedhros have acknowledged Thigol's supremacy, or was Thingol just an equal to the Noldorian King

2)This calls for speculation; Would the situation have been made better or worse had Feanor survived his first battle?

3)Did the arrival of the Noldor, at that time, make things better or worse for those living in Beleriand. Did Morgath attack because of their arrival or would Morgoth have attacked anyway and by their presence the Noldor lessened his impact?

4)Could Glaurung issuing forth, before he was strong enough, have been a trick to make the Noldor overconfident?
The Lady Idril
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on: July 06, 2016 11:00
1) I think the point is that it's supposed to be ambiguous. Tolkien is always really good at fairly representing both sides of a debate, so trying to figure out who is right or who is wrong is sort of unimportant. I personally see where both Thingol and Maedhros are coming from, and I don't have my own opinion.

2) Worse. Much worse. Feanor is overly proud and extremely possessive--there is no way he would let Thingol speak down to him or try and keep land away from him. If had gone far enough, Feanor may have even turned on Thingol and then the Elves would even be divided further.

3) Another point which is probably supposed to remain ambiguous, but I personally believe Morgoth would have probably attacked anyway since he hates Elves and the Elves of Beleriand pre-Noldor would be easy pickings.

4) That's an interesting theory, one I've never really considered before. Huh.
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Evil~Shieldmaiden
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on: July 08, 2016 05:42
1) IMHO Thingol had no authority over the Noldor in Beleriand. They had their own king: Maedhros who would have succeeded Fëanor. That Maedhros would later abdicate in favour of his uncle is moot for purposes of this particular discussion.

Thingol's high handedness certainly did little to foster good relations between the two groups, and much to harm them. And, Maedhros was correct in his observations that Thingol did not have control of the Orc-infested lands he told the Noldor they could have.

2) Here, I totally agree with Lady Idril. The situation would have been appalling had Fëanor survived. An eruption of Mt. Doom would have been negligible compared to the explosion that would have occurred when Fëanor's and Thingol's egos clashed.

3) I believe it maynhave helped the arrival of Men in Beleriand, but I don't believe it had any real impact on Morgoth's overall intentions.

4) Since it was clearly a mistake I don't think it was a trick. I rather think the episode is meant to demonstrate that, while Morgoth may have created Glaurung, the dragon had a will of his own which made it difficult for Morgoth to control him.


[Edited on 07/08/2016 by Evil~Shieldmaiden]
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Elfeawen Lomiondil
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on: July 23, 2016 11:42
1. Was Thingol or Maedhros right about who controlled the land?

As far as I can tell, Maedhros and Thingol did not differ on this issue. Two different ways to look at this are who had the right to the land, and who had practical control of it. Thingol may have had the right to all Beleriand whether his people lived in every part of it or not, simply because he was there first. Morgoth also made a claim to the entire world, which the Eldar ignored as illegitimate. Those are land right issues. Thingol could, in theory, have denied the Noldor permission to live anywhere in Beleriand, or granted their leaders land on a tributary basis regardless of their rank relative to his.

2.Should Maedhros have acknowledged Thingol’s supremacy, or was a Noldorin king an equal to Thingol?

The king of the Noldor, the heir of Finwë, would be equal in rank to the king of the Sindar. The Elves do respect age however, so in that way Thingol, who was born at Cuivenien, may have been accorded a higher “spiritual” rank (for lack of a better word) than the younger Noldorin king. However that was, the only way Thingol could claim a superior position in his relationship with Fingolfin, or Maedhros, or any other leader of the Noldor, was through his claim to the land. In theory.

In practice, there was no way Thingol could enforce a claim to land that he did not actually control. He could not stop Morgoth taking over some of the land that his people previously enjoyed. He could not keep the Noldor out of lightly populated or unpopulated lands if they chose to disregard his wishes. In the end, laying claim to the land that his people where actually living on was more realistic, while asking the Noldor to acknowledge that the unpopulated lands that they would have moved into anyway were “granted” by him, preserved the appearence of his position. Maedhros understood what Thingol was doing and did not mind.

I just don’t understand why Thingol was so cold to the returning Noldor. He didn’t know about the kin-slaying, it was generally believed that the Noldor had come to aid the Sindar against Morgoth, and the Noldor had been their friends when they last parted. Yet Thingol would barely even let a few Noldor into his realm to talk to him.

3.Speculation: If Feanor had survived, would it have made the situation better or worse?

Even though I am intensely curious about how things would have gone if Fëanor had lived longer, even though I have an unrealistic fan wish to see him get revenge on Morgoth . . . it’s difficult to see any way he could have made the situation better, even for the sake of argument. If he had lived, he probably would have quickly alienated the Sindar. Also, I dread to think what would have happened when Fingolfin’s host arrived. The best outcome there would probably be for them to stay as far away from each other as possible. At worst, there might have been an Elf civil war.

I deeply admire the nobility, courage, forgiveness, and generosity of spirit that Fingon and Maedhros showed in their efforts to heal the divisions within the Noldor.

The only thing that I can think of that Fëanor might have done that might have helped would be to attack Angband when the Sun rose and Morgoth’s forces were temporarily overcome. Unlike Fingolfin, he never would have passed up this temporary advantage. I will not try to predict the outcome of an assault on Angband because I simply don’t know. The Noldor were at their strongest at this point, but they were not yet experienced in warfare, and they could not count on the support of Fingolfin’s host. However, Fëanor’s host on their own proved more than a match for the greater numbers of orcs Morgoth fielded. The Balrogs would be harder, but Balrogs too can be slain. Perhaps the Noldor would have been unable to break into Angband, and perhaps it would have gone ill for them if they had, fighting in the darkness of Morgoth’s lair. And they would have had Morgoth to deal with. The Valar say that it is not possible for the Elves to defeat (destroy?) one of the Ainur, and I am not sure if they said so simply because they could see the future and knew it would not be, or as I suspect, no power of Elves could defeat a spirit of this nature. But Morgoth had been held captive by the Valar, and just maybe, he could be chained by lesser folk as well. Even if the Noldor could not break open Angband, and could not destroy Morgoth, perhaps they could have turned his stronghold into his prison, containing him for an age, or at least some centuries more than the Siege lasted.


4. Did the arrival of the Noldor make things better or worse for those living in Beleriand at this time? Did Morgoth attack because they were there, or was he going to attack anyway?

It made things better for the folk of Beleriand. Yes, Morgoth did launch the attack that became Battle-under-Stars in response to the arrival of the Noldor, but if they had not come, he would have used the army against the Sindar and Green Elves anyway.

(Quote) “Ten days that battle lasted, and from it returned of all the hosts that he had prepared for the conquest of Beleriand no more than a handful of leaves (101).” [Emphasis added]

Morgoth has the luxuries of immortality and vast powers. He can rebuild his army even if it takes hundreds of years. But the intervention of the Noldor gave the Sindar, Green Elves, and Dwarves time to recover and shore up their defenses, and won centuries of watchful peace for all the people of Beleriand.

5. Was letting Glaurung out before he was ready a trick to make the Noldor underestimate him?
Fingon’s victory over the immature dragon did cause the Noldor to undersetimate Glaurung at first.

“. . . Fingon won great praise, and the Noldor rejoiced; for few foresaw the full meaning and threat of this new thing.”

However, it was not what Morgoth wanted, and therefore not a trick on his part.

“But Morgoth was ill-pleased that Glaurung had disclosed himself oversoon . . .”

References
Tolkien, J.R.R. The Silmarillion. Edited by Christopher Tolkien. Houghton Mifflin Company: Boston, 1977.


[Edited on 07/24/2016 by Elfeawen Lomiondil]
"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: July 24, 2016 02:53
Elfeawen Lomiondil said: 2. Should Maedhros have acknowledged Thingol’s supremacy, or was a Noldorin king an equal to Thingol?
... I just don’t understand why Thingol was so cold to the returning Noldor. He didn’t know about the kin-slaying, it was generally believed that the Noldor had come to aid the Sindar against Morgoth, and the Noldor had been their friends when they last parted. Yet Thingol would barely even let a few Noldor into his realm to talk to him ...

We (at any rate I) can only speculate on the reasons of Thingol's coldness toward the returning Noldor. What I consider to be the most promising hint is the following: "... ; and [Thingol] would not open his kingdom, nor remove its girdle of enchantment, for wise with the wisdom of Melian he trusted not that the restraint of Morgoth would endure."

The business of the Kin-slaying only surfaces in the chapter after next, "Of the Noldor in Beleriand", but there, before the actual revelation, Melian says to Galadriel: "A darkness you would cast over the long road from Tirion, but I see evil there, which Thingol should learn for his guidance."

By then she sees. As a Maia, she could very well have had a feeling which she would not yet talk about much earlier, when the Noldor returned. And due to here close rapport with Thingol, he may also have had a, using our modern terminology, gut feeling that these supposed, unexpected saviors against Morgoth's assault are not to be trusted.

But then, a hypothesis. A very long way to go to anything remotely resembling a theory; two terms which are confused far too often, be it by ignorance or on purpose (the latter case being simply a lie).

[Edited on 07/24/2016 by Gandolorin]
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Gandolorin
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on: July 24, 2016 03:37
This is the chapter where Fëanor's true character is revealed, in my opinion. The reason for my opinion that there the are clear "racial" analogies: Valar=Morgoth, Maiar=Sauron, and Eldar=Fëanor (with Men=Turin completing the set). The scene of Fëanor's death:

"But as they drew near to Eithel Sirion and were upon the upward path to the pass over the mountains, Fëanor bade them halt; for his wounds were mortal, and he knew that his hour was come. And looking out from the slopes of the Ered Wethrin with his last sight he beheld far off the peaks of Thangorodrim, mightiest of the towers of Middle-earth, and knew with the foreknowledge of death that no power of the Noldor would ever overthrow them; but he cursed the name of Morgoth thrice, and laid it upon his sons to hold to their oath, and to avenge their father."

You don't have a snowball's chance in Angband of winning. Go and die anyway.

A Ragnarök spirit, to a degree, it might seem; but lacking Ragnarök's "we loose; it does not matter; we were right." Fëanor's oath was that of a psychopath. The scene above reminds me (as a German) of nothing else than what Hitler is supposed to have said just before his suicide: that Germany (as he saw it) had not proved able to fulfill his madman's "vision", and thus deserved no better than to follow him (the cowardly suicide) into utter annihilation.
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