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Topic: Evil Elves

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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Date: Feb 4, 2007
Evil Elves

I was recently reading in Morgoth's Ring about the fate of Elves. it said that if the Elves had been corrupted by the Shadow in there life may refuse the summons of Mandos and choose to stay without a body and not interact with Arda may heed the summons of Morgoth and turn into Dark Elves.

I am just wondering though...I cannot recount any Elves who served or were corrupted by Morgoth in the First Age. Feanor is perhaps the most rebellious Elf I know of but I would hardly call him evil. Can anyone think of any Elves that could be truly classed as evil?

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Date: Feb 5, 2007
I can't say I know of any truly evil Elves that served Morgoth or anyone. I can think of a few which are classed as 'Dark' and rebellious like Feanor which you named and Eol the Dark elf. But it does appear that there are some becuase as you stated it says so in Morgoth's Ring. I have always thought of Elves as only Good people. Interesting...

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: Feb 5, 2007
Well, you must keep in mind that Morgoth's Ring is an unpublished version and so contains many things that might contradict with other writings of Tolkien. But as the Silmarillion well explains, all Elves go to the Halls of Mandos, and I don't see how their spirits could refuse going there. This was their fate, and just like no Men could avoid death, Elves could not avoid going to Mandos.

As far as evil Elves are concerned, I guess that Avari or Elves corrupted soon after the awakening of the Elves at Cuivienen might qualify as evil.


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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: Feb 5, 2007
I think you mean Orcs don't you TM? I think they class as evil.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Feb 5, 2007
I don't see any problem with the idea of the Houseless (unbodied spirits who refused the Summons), unless (and I haven't really checked this) the idea was specifically denied to be possible in even later texts (later than the passages in Morgoth's Ring).

Galin

-- Edited by Galin at 12:51, 2007-02-07

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: Feb 7, 2007
"The  fea  is  single,  and  in  the  last  impregnable.  It  cannot be brought   to   Mandos.   It   is   summoned;   and   the   summons  proceeds  from  just  authority,  and   is  imperative;   yet  it   may  be refused.   Among   those   who   refused   the   summons    (or   rather invitation)  of  the  Valar to  Aman in  the first  years of  the Elves, refusal  of  the  summons  to  Mandos  and  the  Halls  of  Waiting  is, the  Eldar  say,  frequent."

"In   like  manner even  of  the  Eldar  some   who  had   become  corrupted   refused  the summons,   and   then   had   little  power   to  resist   the  counter-summons of Morgoth."

"Some  say  that  the  Houseless  desire  bodies,  though  they  are not  willing  to  seek  them  lawfully  by  submission to  the judgement  of  Mandos.  The  wicked  among  them  will  take   bodies,  if they  can,  unlawfully.  The  peril  of   communing  with   them  is, therefore, not only the peril of being deluded by fantasies  or lies: there  is  peril  also  of  destruction.  For   one  of   the  hungry Houseless, if it is  admitted to  the friendship  of the  Living, may seek to eject the fea from its body; and in the contest  for mastery the  body may  be gravely  injured, even  if it  he not  wrested from its  rightful  habitant.  Or  the  Houseless  may plead  for shelter, and if it is admitted, then it will seek to enslave its host  and use both his will and  his body  for its  own purposes."


Some of the quotes refering to this matter in Morgoth's Ring. It does indeed appear that once there Bodies have been slain and the Fea is Housless Elves can indeed go bad.



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Orc Warrior - Rank 2
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Date: Sep 18, 2010
"I think you mean Orcs don't you TM? I think they class as evil."

"In   like  manner
 even  of  the  Eldar  some   who  had   become  corrupted   refused  the summons,   and   then   had   little  power   to  resist   the  counter-summons of Morgoth."

Does the "Eldar who had become corrupted" mean elves that were, of course against their will, turned into orcs? This would imply that once this orc was slain the fea would still be eligible to receive a summons from the Valar. I mean, it would only be fair.



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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Date: Sep 19, 2010
Saba,
There are some rules about copying another authors work from the net.
Hence I am sending this link to you.

http://bearspace.baylor.edu/Ralph_Wood/www/tolkien/TolkienTheology.pdf
This is an excellent short treatise on Tolkien's view on good and evil.
It does give some hints on creating creatures and what is evil.
Basically it boils down to evil can only mar and mock ...what is Good.
Let me know what you think.
This, for me, is the most significant question on the Forum.
Good hunting,
Bear



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Orc Warrior - Rank 2
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Date: Sep 19, 2010
Hi Bear,

I read the article, and I could get like wayyyy deep. But I'll attempt to stay on the surface and answer my own question that I put forth in my previous post and refrain from further philosophy.

Per the article, disobedience and rebellion are the main motives for sin in Tolkien's world and the catalyst for these is pride. Evil descended from Iluvatar downward through his creation. Iluvatar's creative imprint is faulty because it carries his own pride.

For example, I'm proud of a lecture I wrote and delivered to student nurses, I'm proud of my children, my husband takes pride in creating a winning team, etc. It's all our own creation, and we are basically of a good nature - we mean our creation to be honorable and to do good. But say, my straight talk in the lecture causes a few students to drop out of the program, or a offensive play my husband devises results in his quarterback being seriously injured. These were things we couldn't foresee, therefore, we're not responsible ... right? Well maybe.

Suppose the head of recruitment pulls me aside and says, "Saba, you shouldn't have touched on this particular aspect of the job until these students have had some clinical experience. You know it always sounds worse than it really is." Or, my husband's assistant pulls him aside and says, "Mike, how could you have called a play like that when you knew the reputation of that defensive lineman? What were you thinking?" Our respective creations were faulty. We weren't as wise as we thought we were, or we didn't think it over carefully enough. Either way, the final responsibility is undeniably ours. 

Tolkien was a marvelously intelligent man, but he was obviously not trying to create a perfect world or there would have been no story. Yes, there is the message of hope and of blessings in disguise, but there also needs to be justice for a true resolution. Therefore I'll put forth that when an elf (Iluvatar's creation) who is minding his own business is captured my Melkor (Iluvatar's creation) and corrupted into an vicious orc,(Melkor's creation via Iluvatar's faulty imprint) the responsibility is ultimately Iluvatar's. Therefore so must the remedy be. If this orc is slain, the fea should be treated with the same respect as an elf that passed from life as an elf, and an invitation should be issued forthwith by the Valar. Nothing less would be acceptable.


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Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.

Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Date: Sep 19, 2010
Hi Saba,
A very interesting and pragmatic response.
Here is a quote which I believe supports your idea and may add to it.


"Then Ilúvatar spoke, and he said: 'Mighty are the Ainur, and mightiest among them is Melkor; but that he may know, and all the Ainur, that I am Ilúvatar, those things that ye have sung, I will show them forth, that ye may see what ye have done. And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined.' Then the Ainur were afraid, and they did not yet comprehend the words that were said to them; and Melkor was filled with shame, of which came secret anger. But Ilúvatar arose in splendor, and he went forth from the fair regions that he had made for the Ainur; and the Ainur followed him."
(The Silmarillion,  Ainulindale, "The Music of the Ainur," pg 17)

The personal examples you use seem to point out is that the intent may be innocent and good but the result be evil. Both examples are situations which could be favorable or not.
I believe a key is in the timing  ... if the corrective information was received before your action and thereby you knew the result ... would your choice to go ahead be evil?
My question is what was evil?  Is pain evil? Is failure evil? Is confidence evil?
My thought is that results are not evil ... but the motives or intents can be.

And we arrive back to the definition of  "sin" and "evil."


As for the ultimate responsibility belonging to lluvatar this seems to be the construct of predestination. Predestination is a religious concept, which involves the relationship between God and God's creation. The religious character of predestination distinguishes it from other ideas about determinism and free will. Those who believe in predestination, such as John Calvin, believe that, before the Creation, God determined the fate of the universe throughout all of time and space.
Discussion of predestination usually involves consideration of whether God is omniscient, or eternal or non-temporal
(free from limitations of time or even causality). In terms of these ideas, God may see the past, present, and future, so that God effectively knows the future. If God in some sense knows ahead of time what will happen, then events in the universe are effectively predetermined from God's point of view. This is a form of determinism but not predestination since the latter term implies that God has actually determined (rather than simply seen) in advance the destiny of creatures.
A contrasting view maintains that God is completely sovereign over all things but that he chose to give each individual free will, which each person can exercise to accept or reject God's offer of salvation and hence God allows man's choice to determine his future.
Tolkien continues;

"But when they were come into the Void, Ilúvatar said to them: 'Behold your Music!' And he showed to them a vision, giving to them sight where before was only hearing; arid they saw a new World made visible before them, and it was globed amid the Void, and it was sustained therein, but was not of it. And as they looked and wondered this World began to unfold its history, and it seemed to them that it lived and grew. And when the Ainur had gazed for a while and were silent, Ilúvatar said again:
'Behold your Music! This is your minstrelsy; and each of you shall find contained herein, amid the design that I set before you, all those things which it may seem that he himself devised or added. And thou, Melkor, wilt discover all the secret thoughts of thy mind, and wilt perceive that they are but a part of the whole and tributary to its glory."
(The Silmarillion, Ainulindale,"The Music of the Ainur," pg 18)

If all Melkor's deeds are directed to filling the grand design of Iluvatar can they be evil?
Does Melkor's shame and secret anger create evil?
Perhaps the discussion needs to be expanded to include synchronicity, fatalism, and providentialism.


The bottom line that you present so well about teaching nurses and coaching football for me comes down to a simple characteristic that humans struggle to but rarely achieve because of our egocentric (which we must have to survive) and the construct of humility.
To often humility is extrapolated to include ego destructive humiliation.
But it can be expanded ... humility is not thinking less of yourself, but rather thinking of yourself less.
And that takes the result of our behaviors out of the realm of evil.

Opinions?
Thank you for an excellent post!
Bear


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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Date: Sep 20, 2010
Deep subjects being brought to light here, but also ones discussed in other threads. I think the predestination and fate thing has had fairly substantial coverage. As to what is evil and what is not, that is a considerable subject unto itself. I'll have to think more on this one before posting. I don't think, however, that it is possible for any Child of Iluvatar to actually be evil. They can commit evil acts but that is where the old 'hate the sin not the sinner' stuff seems to arise. Morgoth is certainly evil, and by that I mean evil itself as one entity (unlike when we say 'Oh that person is evil', which indicates that we believe evil has taken over the person), seeing as he is the being which created it.

Anyway, I'll have to think on this one.

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Jun 4, 2013
I was wondering about this, as I used to think that it seemed like elves do not fully have free will, as men do.

When, during the council of Elrond, Legolas says about Gollum escaping from the elves' custody, and him having co-ordinated this with the enemy, it says-
"How this was contrived we cannot guess; but Gollum is cunning, and the spies of the enemy are many".
I took this to mean that there were Elves secretly working for Sauron, in Mirkwood = evil Elves?
I suppose maybe he meant orcs that were secretly somehow among the Elves. I haven't read 'The History of Middle Earth' yet; I'm 17, so I think I'll broaden my literary horizons, first :D

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Liam McDonnell
Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: Jun 4, 2013
It doesn't refer to the Elves, Somerlad. No Elves have ever conspired with the Dark forces except for Maeglin in the First Age. The Elves are the only people which are universal in their opposition to the forces of evil, even if they themselves have commited 'sins' of their own (like the Kinslayings).

As for your quote - without looking it up I believe it simply means that Gollum met up with Orcs who were not so far away from where Gollum was being held captive in Northern Mirkwood.

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Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
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Mouth of Sauron stated: No Elves have ever conspired with the Dark forces except for Maeglin in the First Age.

Interesting you should bring that up Mouth of Sauron. I was just reading The Book of Lost Tales 2 in which all the names are switched up, i.e: Turgon is Tinwelint, Melian is Gwendelin and Hurin is Urin and so on.

There was an elf named Ufedhin who leads the Dwarves in a plot to kill Turgon and take the Nauglamir (the necklace that contained a Silmaril). Ufedhin finds Turgon or Tinwelint in the woods and leads him to his doom. The Dwarf leader named Naugladur takes the king of Gondolin's head and marches proudly into Gondolin and tries to take the throne.

As this is a Lost Tale perhaps it doesn't count. I haven't read the "foreword" of the book but I'm pretty sure Tolkien goes on to amend that entire tale and eventually changes all the names. Either way I like the evil twist because where all the Elves are peace-loving and loyal it makes this sin that much greater!



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Tom Bombadil
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Date: Jun 7, 2013
And please don't forget that when the Elves first appeared in Cuivienen, that Morgoth's agents "kidnapped" for a better word the unsuspecting elves who had wandered into the woods near where they were "born" until Oromë told them basically to stay put and not wander.

In my Silmarillion inspired Poem, Sounds of Awakening there is this passage:" Then Melkor made the Firstborn fear with noises in the wood, his servants and his demons devoured them when they could.
Then Melkor in his new disguise spoke of the Valar bad, but Oromë among them dwelled and with the blowing of his Horn he chased away the Bad."

Just a thought

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