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Topic: The Fate of Maglor

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Date: Mar 4, 2007
The Fate of Maglor

I am wondering is anyone knows what became of Maglor, son of Feanor? It says in the Silmarillion that he disposed of the Silmaril in the Great Sea and ever after kept playing music on the western Shores of Middle-earth. However I doubt very much he was still there in the Third Age. What happened to him?

-- Edited by Glorfindel1235 at 11:52, 2007-03-04

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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As far as I know Tolkien never gives us any information about him after this event.
We know for sure that he was the only of Feanor's sons to survive through the First Age, however this does not imply that he died or didn't die sometime later. Of course he would eventually grow weary and leave the shores of Middle-earth, but it might be he was still present during the Third Age.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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There's a 1951 letter:
'The remaining two Silmarils are regained from the Iron Crown — only to be lost. The last two sons of Fëanor, compelled by their oath, steal them, and are destroyed by them, casting themselves into the sea, and the pits of the earth. (Letter 131)
Compare to the later version of The Lay of Leithian:
No other player has there been,
no other lips or fingers seen
so skilled, 'tis said in elven-lore,
save Maelor* son of Fëanor,
forgotten harper, singer doomed,
who young when Laurelin yet bloomed
to endless lamentation passed
and in the tombless sea was cast.

It's possible that more than one tradition was to appear in the Legendarium; but if one, I would guess the tradition of Maglor casting himself into the sea.

Galin


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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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This seems to contradict what The Silmarillion says. I suppose the Silmarillion is more accurate becuase it consists of notes which Christopher Tolkien catagorised in order of priority. He read through all of his fathers notes and decided what was best, e.g, most complete, most modern and most likely to have happened and included it in the published Silmarillion. It seems strange therefore why this information is absent in there.

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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Do we have any idear as to when Maglor cast himself into the Sea?

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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The passage that appears in the published Silmarillion is based upon the early Quenta Silmarillion of the 1930's and has some history in previous 'Silmarillion' texts like Qenta Noldorinwa for example, and the Earliest 'Silmarillion'. Thus before Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings (which took years of course).

The letter I quoted is dated 1951 however, and the later version of the Lay is also from the 1950's (this passage probably dates after 1955). JRRT worked again on the Silmarillion and other traditions after he had completed writing The Lord of the Rings, but he never got around to any substantial rewrite of the QS passage in question (among other things).

It seems to me that Christopher Tolkien had prose text to work with from the 1930's and decided to use this, thus the passage found in the published Silmarillion represents the latest version of that tradition, and is yet 'early' compared to other texts. Christopher Tolkien cannot know what his father would have done had he taken up this section of the older QS (Quenta Silmarillion) and given it good attention: whether Tolkien himself would have revised the Silmarillion to match the idea in the Lays (or the Letter), or not, and if the former, how it would have read specifically. 

Again I think it's possible that the Silmarillion tradition might have been left to stand as it was by Tolkien himself, along with the idea in the Lay, as this seems a perfect case (to my mind) to let variant traditions appear to disagree on a matter that could be rather nice as 'hazy'. And again I think that if only one idea was to appear, my guess would have to be that of the Lay, since (unless I've missed something) this appears to be later from JRRT's perspective.

Galin



-- Edited by Galin at 14:57, 2007-03-05

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Yet again a very worthwhile and enlightening post Galin.

-- Edited by mouth of sauron at 09:57, 2007-03-08

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Tom Bombadil
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According to the Tolkien Gateway " Legend says that he still wanders the shores of the World, singing laments for his despair and regret."


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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Well we know what the constructed Silmarillion says (this 'Tolkien Gateway' appears to be simply going by the Silmarillion), but as the thread shows, there is more. I should also mention The Tale of Years (War of the Jewels) in which it is said:

'597 Maidros and Maglor, last surviving sons of Feanor, seize the Silmarils. Maidros perishes. The Silmarils are lost in fire and sea.' JRRT WJ

The textual history of The Tale of Years is not easily described in brief, though I would say the description in the Lay (in which Maelor appears to perish in the sea) is later than this description.

Galin

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Hmmm...I am not so sure about that Galin
Perhaps the use of the word "tombless" is also a way to suggest that Maglor never found his resting place, his tomb on the shores of the Sea, and so would still be wondering around
Of course he would eventually fade away as Elves do, but he might still have been presend at the beginning of the Fourth Age

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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to endless lamentation passed
and in the tombless sea was cast.


But is not the suggestion that Maglor himself was cast into the Sea? As agrees with the letter?

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Ah, I understand what you mean...
For me the fact he cast himself into the Sea didn't necessarily also imply his death, but now that I took a better look at the quote, this becomes pretty obvious

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Tom Bombadil
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I wish the professor would have stuck to a task and not left to much open to interpretation of the reader/scholars. It would make things a lot easier. I am anxiously awaiting the release of the Children of Hurin which I have on Pre-order at B&N

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Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!
Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
Tom Bom, Jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!

Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Me too, btw, you reminded me of something I had to do

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Tom Bombadil
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The Might Oh no, don't tell me you forgot to pre-order the Children of Hurin? Well I guess it's good that I reminded you then.

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Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!
Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
Tom Bom, Jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!

Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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No, I wwanted to open a thread, I forgot doing that yesterday, so I'll do that now.

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Tom Bombadil
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Are you talking about the new POll thread or the Rating System thread. I tried to give your thread 5 stars, but it would only let me give one. Well maybe I'll figure out how to do it right the next time.

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Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!
Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
Tom Bom, Jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!

Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Nah, I was talking about linking a site in the Children of Hurin thread
Definitely worth seeing

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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BTW has anyone else voted on this new topic rate thing yet? I have a few times.

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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I tend to agree with Galin - the more intuitive course of events would be that Maglor cast himself in the sea. The reason I find this more natural, even if not entirely speculative, is never brought up or anyhow mentioned in the books. But I think it is guilt he must feel still (no matter how many years have passed - Elves do not forget) because of not rescuing his elder brother from Morgoth's torment (this deserves a separate topic though). He would hate to survive past his death... and terrible death at that... I think.

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