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20034Re: Galadriel throws down the walls of Dol Guldur

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  • al_fariis
    Aug 18, 2008
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      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Doug Kane" <dougkane@...> wrote:
      > John, I'm gald you responded to this, because I had meant to add my
      two sense and I was going to make the same comparison that you did to
      Luthien undoing the spells that bound the stones together of Sauron's
      tower on the former Tol Sirion. However, there is significant
      editorial change that was made to this passage. As written by
      Tolkien, in addition to demanding the Sauron yield the mastery of the
      tower to her as the price for letting him go, Luthien also demanded
      that he reveal to her "the spell that bindeth stone to stone."
      Christopher Tolkien eliminated this statement and instead added two
      paragraphs later the statement "and the spell was loosed that bound
      stone to stone." Christopher concedes that "this rearrangement was
      mistaken." (See The Lost Road, 300.)
      > The other comment that I wanted to make is that I doubt that Nenya
      would have been much use to Galadriel in this task. Elrond tells us
      that the Three Rings "were not made as weapons of war or conquest:
      that is not their power. Those who made them did not desire strength
      or domination or hoarded wealth, but understanding, making, and
      healing, to preserve all things unstained." I don't think that
      Galadriel would have used Nenya to throw down the walls of Dol Guldur,
      even if the Three Rings' power had not yet full dissipated. Rather, I
      think that she used her inate "magical" powers. Tolkien makes some
      very interesting comments about the use of magic in Letter 155, a
      draft of a letter to Naomi Mitchison that was not included in the
      version sent to her (the sent version is letter 154, which itself has
      some very interesting ideas).
      > "I suppose that, for the purposes of the tale, some would say that
      there is a latent distinction such as once was called the distinction
      between magia and goeteia [this is defined in the O.E.D. as
      'witchcraft or magic performed by the invocation and employment of
      evil spirits; necromancy'] Galadriel speaks of the 'deceits of the
      Enemy'. Well enough but magia could be, was, held good (per se), and
      goetia bad. Neither is, in this tale, good or bad (per se), but only
      by motive or purpose or use. Both sides use both, but with different
      motives. The supremely bad motive is (for this tale, since it
      specifically about it) domination of other 'free' wills. The Enemy's
      operation are by no means all goetic deceits, but 'magic' that
      produces real effects in the physical world. But his magia he uses to
      bulldoze both people and things, and his goeteia to terrify and
      subjugate. Their magia the Elves and Gandalf use (sparingly): a magia,
      producing real results (like fire in a wet faggot) for specific
      beneficent purposes. Their goetic effects are entirely artistic and
      not intended to deceive: they never deceive Elves (but may deceive or
      bewilder unaware Men) since the difference is to them as clear as the
      difference to us between fiction, painting, and sculpture, and 'life'."
      > Tolkien adds later in the passage that the "magic" that is used in
      his Tale is not of the kind that can be developed through "lore" or
      spells, but rather is an "inherent power not possessed or attainable
      by Men as such." As one of the most powerful of all of the Elves,
      Galadriel would likely have this "inherent power" to a high degree.
      In my opinion, Galadriel throwing down the walls of Dol Guldur was
      simply an example of one of the primary Elves using magia for a
      practical purpose.
      > The question that I have is: what is the "artistic" goetic effects
      of the Elves that Tolkien is referring to?
      > ,----- Original Message -----
      > From: John D Rateliff
      > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2008 6:55 PM
      > Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Galadriel throws down the walls of Dol Guldur
      > Hi Steve
      > Sorry for the delay in responding; I've been away and just got
      > back. I think most of the other regular posters are at Mythcon this
      > weekend.
      > I interpret that passage to mean that after the Nazgul were
      > destroyed, Celeborn's forces destroyed the remaining Mirkwood-host
      > and that Galadriel herself then left Lorien to visit the spot. I
      > don't think she rolled up her sleeves and let loose against the walls
      > with a big hammer; rather, I parallel this passage with Luthien's
      > casting down the Necromancer's Tower (the former Tol Sirion) in THE
      > SILMARILLION. That is, I think she undid the spell that bound the
      > place together, and that it crumbled and collapsed on the spot.
      > It's not said that the Three Rings immediately wink out, but
      > implied that they fade quickly. Destroying Dol Guldur would have been
      > a good use of most of what remained of Nenya's power, leaving the
      > world behind with a cleaner slate to start the new age ("Greenwood
      > the Great").
      > I hope this helps.
      > --JDR
      > On Aug 11, 2008, at 7:59 PM, al_fariis wrote:
      > > There is a passage in Appendix B, Return of the King, in the
      > > right after the March 3019 chronology that has me puzzled:
      > >
      > > "They (the Elves of Lorien) took Dol Guldur, and Galadriel threw
      > > down its walls and laid bare its pits, and the forest was cleansed."
      > >
      > > What does this mean? Was Tolkien saying that Galadriel herself
      > > threw down the walls of Dol Guldur, or did she supervise the
      work? The
      > > three rings lost their power after the One Ring was destroyed, so
      > > Nenya could not have been used.
      > >
      > > We'd love to be at MythCon this weekend, but barring a sudden change
      > > in fortune, we'll have to miss this year.
      > >
      > > Steve Gaddis
      > Thank you to John and Doug for the enlightening responses; perhaps
      others will weigh in on this. I've had an image in my head of
      Galadriel destroying the tower, as though it had been hit by an
      invisible wave of water, in keeping with Nenya being the Ring of
      Water. I've done some rough sketches of the idea, but didn't want to
      go much further without a clearer idea of just what Tolkien may have
      intended-more reading and research to do!

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