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17972Re: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin

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  • Paul Westermeyer
    Jun 3, 2007
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      >Posted by: "tea_party@..." tea_party@... uncutray
      >There is great imagery here with Fingolfin pounding on the gates of Angband and calling Melkor to come out and fight. What strikes me as strange is that Melkor is a demi-god in corporeal form, but we know that he has the power to shape the land and cause volcanic eruptions and the like. How is it that there is any contest at all between him and Fingolfin? Why doesn't he just open up the Earth and swallow Fingolfin? Why doesn't he blast him with lightning? Why can't he swing his hammer faster? How can Fingolfin wound him? Why doesn't he have magic powers to defend against Fingolfin's sword?

      Tolkien is very careful not to explain how 'magic' works within Middle Earth. The implication is that Morgoth's ability to twist the Earth and control weather is a slow power, not something he can summon at will and wield like a spear.

      And Fingolfin's ability to duel him even this long is indictative of two things. One, that Fingolfin, second son of Finwe, a Nolder born in Aman before the destruction of the Trees is great indeed, a match even for some Maia (the Nolder face Balrogs several times). Second, it highlights how far Melkor has fallen. He is trapped in his warlord form, and has spread his power amongst his servants. He has so fallen from his previous glory as the greatest of the Vala, blessed by Eru, that the Greatest of the children of Iluvater can threaten him.

      >The Eagles make two appearances in this chapter. First to scratch Melkor in the face and "rescue" the body of Fingolfin, and second to act as taxis for Hurin and Huor.
      >Why didn't Thorondor get in there and help Fingolfin take out Melkor, rather
      >than wait around for Melkor to crush Fingolfin, then slip in? The behaviour of
      >the Eagles is very strange and often illogical. JRRT should either use them
      >well, or dispose of them as a device.

      By this point in the Simarillion the Eagles have been explained, they are the servants of Manwe, Lord of Arda. The Noldor are rebels against Manwe, and suffer still at this point onder the Doom of Mandos. Manwe's Eagles will not aid them directly against Melkor, but act instead to lessen the pain of defeat (honoring Fingolfin for his courage by rescuing his body from Melkor) or furthering the deep aims of Iluvater and Manwe (and the Music) by entwining Men and elves (rescuing Hurin and Huor).

      >Sauron comes back and begins to have influence over events. He takes over Tol
      >Sirion and makes it his watch tower against the Elves. We find out that he is
      >the master of werewolves--the use of werewolves just seems so cheesy. I guess
      >they are an example of what Sauron is capable of in misshaping the creations of Eru. We get hints that he is becoming the Necromancer that we read about in 'The Hobbit' and 'LotR'.

      Tolkien's werewolves are the not the creatures of Lon Chaney and Hammer Films, but rather the creature of ancient Norse mythology.

      "...How shall a man judge what to do in such times?!"
      "As he has ever judged," said Aragorn "Good and evil have not changed since yesteryear..."
      J.R.R. Tolkien, _The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers_

      Paul Westermeyer, westermeyer@...
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