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Topic: Was Smaug in the War of Wrath?

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Do you think Smaug was in the War of Wrath? [6 vote(s)]

Yes
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No
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Rohan Peasant - Rank 2
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Was Smaug in the War of Wrath?
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All right, here's the thing. Smaug could have been in the War of Wrath. Why? Well, I will list some points. They might not all necessarily prove he was in the War of Wrath, but they do allow for the possibility. 

 

- Smaug is a Winged Uruloki, created by Morgoth for the Last Battle

- Two escaped

- Smaug said he "felled the warriors of old, and their like is not in the world today." Who are the warriors of old? Girion? I think not. Elves of Valinor? Probably. Their like has all but vanished. I can only think of 2 still remaining in Middle-earth. 

- Smaug could easily be immortal, or close to it



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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Here is some indication of the age of Smaug:

"Girion Lord of Dale is dead, and I have eaten his people like a wolf among sheep, and where are his sons' sons that dare approach me? I kill where I wish and none dare resist. I laid low the warriors of old and their like is not in the world today. Then I was but young and tender. Now I am old and strong, strong strong. Thief in the Shadows!" he gloated."

So if he was young and tender a 150-200 years prior to the time of The Hobbit then that would make him a rather young dragon in the grand scheme of things would it not? Maybe 300-400 years old? Perhaps Galin can shed some light.

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Rohan Peasant - Rank 2
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Sure. But who says he was young when he killed Girion? He was young when he laid low the warriors of old, who could possibly be the Elves of Valinor (or Last Alliance, more likely Valinor), because their like has not been seen again. He seems to make a distinction between Girion and his sons and "the warriors of old."



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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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It seems to me Smaug is refering to the men and dwarves of Erebor and Dale in the old days of Thror and Girion and certainly not to warriors from Valinor. Bear in mind that 'The Hobbit' was written generally without the greater Middle-earth legend and backstory in mind. I very much doubt 'warriors from Valinor' would have been what Tolkien had in mind.
Also don't forget that it's written far more like a one off standalone tale than part of a greater legend. 'Warriors of old and their like is not in the world today' is a fairy-tale phrase off the cuff, I don't think it's a vague reference to a much deeper part of Middle-earth history. I definitely read it that he is refering to Girion etc.

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Rohan Peasant - Rank 2
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Of course Tolkien may not have had that in mind at the time, but remember at the time of the Hobbit Elrond wasn't the descendant of Turgon, and he wasn't even an elf in the hobbit, just a man with elvish blood. However things were tailored to suit the Silmariilion, and it seems to me entirely possible that with the other books in mind, "warriors of old" refers to a legend long ago. Don't you think so?



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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Tolkien revised his story of The Hobbit to bring it better in line with The Lord of the Rings. And especially after The Lord of the Rings was published, which tale was easily fully part of the 'world of the Silmarillion' now, Tolkien began a much fuller revision -- in the process of which he even changed something dragon-related.

 

The revision was to Thorin saying that dragons live 'practically forever' (and so on) to 'five thousand years, maybe, unless they are killed.'

 

And then Tolkien revised that to: 'one thousand years, maybe, unless they are killed'.

 

If that's part of adjusting The Hobbit to better fit The Lord of the Rings, and thus arguably the world of The Silmarillion -- if Tolkien really imagined that Smaug survived the War of Wrath and thus was so old, Thorin's original statement of 'practically forever' needs no revision in my opinion... especially considering that Smaug is the only dragon that the reader is going to meet in the tale, and if not the only dragon in Thorin's mind, surely of special importance to him and very arguably included in his general comment.

 

JRRT never finished The 1960 Hobbit, probably because someone (still unknown to the general public) told him that the changes were transforming The Hobbit too much with respect to the general feel of the original story. JRRT was also having trouble fitting certain details in, like his descriptions of the Moon with respect to dates, for example, but that doesn't mean he necessarily rejected any specific revision made to those parts he had already revised (like Thorin's statement). He abandoned the whole project, and the idea has even been raised by John Rateliff (The History of The Hobbit) that Tolkien may not have had the 1960 Hobbit at hand when he revised The Hobbit in the 1960s for reasons related to copyright (the Ace Books controversy). Part of the reason JDR raises this is due to the matter of where the three trolls were located, and Tolkien, by incorporating only a new, small detail instead of the full description from the 1960 Hobbit designed to fix the seeming contradiction, arguably made things more problematic not less. But that alone is complicated enough...

 

... anyway, for myself I don't believe Smaug escaped the War of Wrath.



-- Edited by Galin on Thursday 8th of March 2012 06:48:15 PM

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Rohan Peasant - Rank 2
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Good point Galin. But I see a loophole. If not a direct refutal of your argument, then at least it allows for the possibility around the law of Thorin's statement. Glaurung is immortal. Glaurung is a dragon. Does this not contradict Thorin's argument somewhat, especially since we are trying to connect the Hobbit to the Silmarillion and Glaurung is from that period?

An alternative theory is that Thorin is speaking from what he knows. Lesser dragons who have been diminished and do not possess the power of their forbears. These lesser dragons plundered the halls of the dwarves and Thorin undoubtedly knows about these. Smaug (and Scatha) are greater worms, exceedingly great. Scatha as we know was killed, which would give Thorin no reason to believe otherwise about the lifespan of dragons, and Smaug is the greatest of the age. If he was a soldier of the War of Wrath, he would be old, as he states, and Thorin having no cause to think otherwise, would place him in the category of his world of dragons; lifespan of around 1000 years or so.

This next point is really just me musing. Why would Gandalf be concerned Sauron would use Smaug if he had no prior contact with him? Smaug seems perfectly content sitting on his immense hoard. What could Sauron possibly promise him that would be greater than the wealth of Erebor? However, if Smaug was a direct servant of Morgoth, whose lieutenant was Sauron, then Smaug would be a subordinate, and Sauron could then manipulate him. Just a wild thought there.

Haven't we met before Galin?

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Bard the Bowman wrote: '(...) Glaurung is immortal. Glaurung is a dragon. Does this not contradict Thorin's argument somewhat,...'

 

I don't recall Tolkien ever certainly stating that Glaurung is immortal. According to the Grey Annals:  year 260: 'Here Glaurung, the first of the Uruloki, the fire drakes of the North, came forth from Anband's gate by night. He was yet young and scarce half-grown (for long and slow is the life of those worms), but the Elves...' And although it's not necessarily an indication of how long he will live after coming to his full might, he seems to have grown slowly by human standards anyway, as by Sun Year 455 'Glaurung, Father of Dragons, came forth in his full might' or by year 472 'And the strength and terror of the Great Worm were now grown great indeed.'

 

In any case, how long is meant with 'long' and slow? If Tolkien wants Thorin to say 'one thousand years, maybe', instead of 'practically forever', I see nothing necessarily problematic with that as being consonant with this statement from the Grey Annals (at least).



-- Edited by Galin on Sunday 11th of March 2012 12:37:56 AM

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Rohan Peasant - Rank 2
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Well the thing is this Galin. Glaurung is a spirit. Obviously a Maiar of great power, and Maiar are immortal. Therefore Glaurung is immortal.


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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Bard the Bowman wrote: 'Well the thing is this Galin. Glaurung is a spirit. Obviously a Maiar of great power, and Maiar are immortal. Therefore Glaurung is immortal.'

 

I'm also not aware that Tolkien ever referred to Glaurung as an immortal Maia (Maiar is plural). I know there are some who interpret the matter so, but it is not necessarily or obviously so in my opinion.

 

Other options to explain Glaurung (if desired) are available.

 

Moreover, in the later 1950s we see Tolkien himself searching for an answer to explain his adoption of talking beasts -- noting text VIII Myths Transformed, Morgoth's Ring, despite that Glaurung is not specifically mentioned there along with Huan and the Eagles.



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Tolkien said Glaurung spoke by the evil spirit that was in him. We can only assume this means he was a Maiar.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Bard the Bowman wrote: 'Tolkien said Glaurung spoke by the evil spirit that was in him. We can only assume this means he was a Maiar.'

 

You are obviously free to assume what Tolkien means by this statement, but I need not assume JRRT can only mean Glaurung is a Maia.

 

smile

 

So far I see nothing necessarily inconsistent with Tolkien's revision to Thorin's statement -- regarding Glaurung or Quenta Silmarillion in general. The revision may be inconsistent with respect to your interpretation of something, but that's a different animal in any case.



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A different animal? A dragon is different than a dragon? Especially since the first dragon was the father of the dragons. I fail to see what else Tolkien can mean by evil spirit other than Glaurung being a Maiar. However, if you are regarding this matter as opinion I will not push the matter, although if you would like to I would be glad to discuss it.


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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Bard the Bowman wrote: 'A different animal? A dragon is different than a dragon?' 

 

That's my expression to refer to two different things -- an 'animal' is not really meant. It's kind of like saying something is a 'horse of a different colour' for example.

 

'I fail to see what else Tolkien can mean by evil spirit other than Glaurung being a Maiar.'

 

Glaurung being a Maia contained in worm form is certainly an option of course. Again I feel that, so far (also keeping in mind that not everything Tolkien wrote on the subject has necessarily been published), there are other explanations still open to JRRT as well. And looking a bit closer at the passage being referred to: 'Then suddenly he spoke by the evil spirit that was in him, saying 'Hail son of Turin...' appears in the Grey Annals of the early 1950s, in a phase of writing where Tolkien appears to change his mind about the ability of Morgoth to create spirits (already hinted at in The Lord of the Rings by Frodo). In this period Tolkien will first write that Morgoth simply made orcs for example, but then a seemingly new and different idea is presented through the Elf Pengolodh, who also notes that the Wise of Eressea have a theory about orcs being made from corrupted Elves.

 

At some point within the 1950s Tolkien seems sure enough that Melkor could not create spirits (certain letters reflect this notion as well), although he does not rule out other kinds of makings that would be more 'puppet like'. And in the early 1950s Tolkien will already refer to Balrogs as corrupted Maiar. But what did Tolkien mean when he wrote this statement from Grey Annals? Possibly he had changed his mind by the time he had arrived at this sentence... yet it's very interesting that in the part of the Narn from the later 1950s, when Nienor meets Glaurung on the hill, Tolkien initially wrote (concerning the eyes of the dragon): '... they were terrible, being filled with the fell spirit of Morgoth, who made him.'

 

So if I read the external history correctly, as originally written in the later 1950s Tolkien imagined that Morgoth still 'made' Glaurung. In the old sense? Did JRRT simply forget that he had rejected this notion in general? But if 'made' refers to the old sense, the 'evil spirit' of the early 1950s could reflect the idea that Morgoth simply created dragons with spirits, and thus they were not Maiar. Yet again, at some point Tolkien underlines the last three words of this description 'who made him' and in pencil elsewhere on the page he writes (barely legibly) 'Glaurung must be a demon [??contained in worm form]' So here we appear to have Tolkien 'revising' a concept that -- I would have guessed -- was already abandoned by this time.

 

Of course we end up with the same question in any case! If Glaurung must be a 'demon' of some kind (contained in worm form), or a demon in some sense: of what kind and in what sense is the question. But as I say I think there are other options open to JRRT other than an 'immortal' Maia.

 

For myself I also wonder: did Tolkien simply happen to write 'demon' here instead of Maia? Or was he unwilling, for some reason, to imagine Glaurung as a Maia; and if so, could part of that reason be reflected in this 1960 revision to Thorin's statement, at least in its ultimate form. And as I say, in the later 1950s Tolkien would muse that even talking beasts do not necessarily have fear -- plural of fea, and elvish word roughly equivalent to spirit -- again he doesn't mention dragons specifically in this essay, but my only point with this is that even at this relatively later time Tolkien still seems a bit unsure as to how to explain his creatures, or at least all of them.

 

In any case, Balrogs as Maiar had been well enough attested, so Christopher Tolkien incorporated this into the 1977 Silmarillion (he altered certain texts with respect to Balrog numbers however). What did Christopher Tolkien do with the 'Nienor example', considering the text as it existed? He altered Tolkien's 'who made him' to 'his master' (incidentally he altered this for both the recently published Children of Hurin and the version in Unfinished Tales).

 

Anyway, back to Smaug...



-- Edited by Galin on Monday 12th of March 2012 06:41:54 PM

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My Friends,

Once again Galin has penetrated the erratic creative flow which Tolkien exhibited his whole lifetime.

And as we gain more insight through examining his notes and letters we are confronted with a dilemma many fans have adopted ... that is the concept of "absolutes." 

Just reading the flow of posts we see that some adopt opinion and speculation as "the facts."

But as Galin points out Tolkien himself struggled with "absolutes"; ie "demon" does not equate to "Maia", and Christopher Tolkien's altering Tolkien's ' 'who made him'  to 'his master' in his revelation of Glaurung through the paragraphs in the "Nienor example."

Which brings us to the discussion of a topic reduced from open examination of the topic or the work to distilling it as "I'm right and you are wrong." 

Again it is Galin who reminds us that there is so much more that may be revealed ... through margin notes, unpublished letters, or partial manuscripts ... and recognizing that materials already released also come through the "editorial lens" provided by Christopher Tolkien.

So a statement "A different animal? A dragon is different than a dragon?"  has an answer of yes, no, or maybe.  Why?  Because in following the creative process through Tolkien's lifetime and after any one of those answers may be correct or in error depending on the time the question is asked.

Which does indeed take us back to "Smaug."

A dragon written for a children's story published in 1937 is a very different dragon whose powers create a tragic tale of incest and suicide ... In the 1937 dragon I think I can see that Tolkien was not thinking of immortality or the ancient wars revealed in the Silmarillion.

Think of this ... Bard. your namesake has the dragon's vulnerability reveal by the arrogance of the worm in showing off to the invisible hobbit Bilbo, who reporting to the dwarves, is passed on to a bird, who flutters to your namesake's shoulder, who - down to his last arrow and about to be destroyed - is told of the bare spot over the dragon's heart, and whose final flight of his favorite arrow, slays said dragon who, in his death throws destroys your namesakes town, and due to the fabled treasure of his lair, provokes a war of five armies, in which your namesake becomes a king ... all told from a view point that an 8 to 10 year old could grasp ... and enjoy.

And we try and compare this Smaug to the construct of an evil, corrupt, immoral, being who the very same author can't decide is demon, or a Maia, or something else all together ... in a very adult fantasy (not really any sort of "fairy tale") and bring "the children's fairy tale dragon" into it.

????????????????

A very interesting construct but damn near impossible to reconcile ... apples to oranges and all that.

My opinion ... and no more than that ... says that all of these other opinions hold the same validity ... except when they are documented and referenced ... as Galin has done ...

 

This is not meant to demean any opinion expressed (Thank G-D because it is so much fun) And I appreciate the opportunity to join the poll.

I'm just trying to point out ... that an apple is an apple and an orange a orange ... no matter if we make it a fruit salad or not!



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The dictionary gives a couple of examples of what the word Demon actually means. One of them is: A cruel, evil, or destructive thing. I would agree this definition fits all dragons in Tolkien's works.

I think we can all agree that a demon is in essence a spirit. If something has a spirit it may be capable of speech and thought, and although its will may not be its own, it may grow to independent thought. Like our Glaurung, Smaug, etc.

The real question is whether Melkor created dragons in the first place. The answer to that question might provide us with a link to a dragon's motivation. Were the dragons in Tolkien's tales serving Melkor's purpose or their own. It is said that he cannot give anything life and he can only pervert what is already made but the Book of Lost Tales tells of his machinations against Gondolin. Are these the earliest dragons? "Some were given hearts and spirits of blazing fire and they blasted all that stood before them with the terror of their snorting or trampled whatso escaped the ardour of their breath;" The Book of Lost Tales: Part II, The Fall of Gondolin. Either way and to stay on topic, I don't believe Dragons were Maia. I'm leaning toward Demons when it comes to Dragons. They have a cruel spirit within them and create havoc for destruction's sake, it seems.



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Even though the citation from The Book of Lost Tales raised by Jaidoprism7 is very early, I note that these 'dragons' (at least some) were given spirits, an idea that, in my opinion, is not necessarily superseded by the notion that Morgoth could not make souls or spirits. Before Tolkien began The Lord of the Rings Melkor could 'simply' create some of his minions, and creating spirits was seemingly not an issue -- or at least certain creatures could be created and seemed to be true living things anyway.

 

During the writing of The Lord of the Rings we appear to have evidence of an emerging alternative, noting Frodo's observation about Orcs at least. But in the early 1950s when JRRT had 'finished' writing the bulk of The Lord of the Rings, he returned to the legends of the Elder Days and initially wrote that Morgoth 'made' orcs for example. However in this phase of writing, still in the early 1950s, we begin to see the evidence of a new idea: 'For, saith Pengolodh, Melkor could never since the Ainulindale make of his own aught that had life or the semblance of life, and still less might he do so after his treachery in Valinor and the fullness of his own corruption.' Quoth Elfwine.' JRRT, the Annals of Aman

 

 

In the early 1950s the Balrogs become Maiar, although interestingly, in one copy of the Annals of Aman Morgoth can still 'multiply' them in some way. And in this phase the Wise of Eressea think Orcs are corrupted Elves rather than creatures Morgoth brought into being himself. These notions appear to be in tandem with the shift in thinking concerning Melkor's ability to make.

 

In 1954, Tolkien will note (draft letter 153) 'But whether they could have 'souls' or 'spirits' seems a different question; and since in my myth at any rate I do not conceive of the making of souls or spirits, things of an equal order if not an equal power to the Valar, as a possible 'delegation', I have represented at least the Orcs as pre-existing beings on whom the Dark Lord has exerted the fullness of his power in remodelling and corrupting them, not making them. (...) There might be other 'makings' all the same which were more like puppets filled (only at a distance) with their maker's mind and will, or ant-like operating under direction of a queen-center.'

 

Also, in the later 1950s Tolkien will muse upon another (relatively seldom quoted) idea as to how evil things might appear in Arda (the italic lettering is reproduced as in the text, the colour emphasis is mine however): 'Evil is fissiparous. But itself barren. Melkor could not 'beget', or have any spouse (...) Out of the discords of the Music -- sc. not directly out of either of the themes, Eru's or Melkor's, but of their dissonance with regard one to another -- evil things appeared in Arda, which did not descend from any direct plan or vision of Melkor: they were not his 'children'; and therefore, since all evil hates, hated him too. The progeniture of things was corrupted. Hence Orcs? Part of the Elf-Man idea gone wrong. Though as for Orcs, the Eldar believed Morgoth had actually 'bred' them by capturing Men (and Elves) early and increasing to the utmost any corrupt tendencies they possessed.' JRRT, Morgoth's Ring, Myths Transformed, text VII.

 

 

That's an interesting idea I think, even if not necessarily taken up for orcs specifically.



-- Edited by Galin on Tuesday 13th of March 2012 06:22:13 PM

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Hmm. That's a very interesting idea you have there.

Tell me, what is the significance of Smaug having been in the War to the legendarium as a whole? Do we gain any deeper understanding of Tolkien's literary intent by this inference? I don't see what Tolkien could have meant to communicate by such an inclusion - especially one that is referred to in The Hobbit obliquely at best and never spoken of again in LotR or anywhere else in the legendarium. Most of the devices and characters Tolkien employs have some deeper thematic content or meaning. How does this tidbit revise our understanding of Smaug as the draconic antagonist?

I confess myself puzzled, as typically Tolkien makes his purposes very clear when including relics of bygone eras. Artifacts such as Narsil/Anduril are included as symbols of renewal; the "green gem" for the royal bloodline of Earendil that forms a link to a better past (and presumably better future!); the Balrog of Moria as an embodiment of the primal, destructive evil which is antithetical to the values of the Free Peoples.

I don't see what there is to be gotten out of this notion of Smaug having been a leftover of the First Age and am hoping you can enlighten me. It seems to, if anything, warp the meaning and themes of the Hobbit if you change the nature of the primary antagonist in such a significant way by incorporating elements from a story that has an extremely divergent mood as compared to the Hobbit.



-- Edited by Troll on Friday 16th of March 2012 10:12:25 AM

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You mean, Troll, that Smaug would cease to be the pantomime villain that we think of if he were to be incorporated into the much deeper themes of the larger legendarium? Thus Tolkien wouldn't avoid connecting the two? I think Smaug is mentioned in Unfinished Tales but any other references are usually indirect mentions about Bilbo's adventure.

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I would sorely like to read the passage that links Smaug to the first age! And to troll; I think there could be a lot of good from the knowledge of if Smaug was there at Gondolin or not. We could glean the travels of precious items like Glamdring and Sting, (A trail that has grown cold on me I admit). Welcome to this forum by the way. I'm liking your position on this topic and I will be following it with great interest.

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Jaidoprism, I am referring to the "warriors of old" statement Smaug makes. He says he felled them and their like has not been seen again. Girion? Uh no. Elves of Valinor? Yes. However, I firmly believe 100 % that Smaug was not at Gondolin. The winged fire-breathing dragons were only released in the War of Wrath, therefore if Smaug did exist in the first age the only period which he would have fought in would be in the final battle.

 

Well well Troll, welcome. I was wondering when you would show up. As to your question, for me (if Smaug indeed was part of the War of Wrath) it helps me create a visual picture of Smaug, and also provides additions to my view of Smaug's attitude and his mentality. It's all down to a personal experience.

 

You could also ask, what did it add to have Gandalf pick up Turgon's old sword? Nothing significant as far as I can see, but still cool.  



-- Edited by Bard the Bowman on Sunday 18th of March 2012 03:52:20 AM

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Bard the Bowman wrote:
Jaidoprism, I am referring to the "warriors of old" statement Smaug makes. He says he felled them and their like has not been seen again. Girion? Uh no. Elves of Valinor? Yes.

I'm still not getting this part. I don't understand why you don't think Smaug is refering to Girion's folk. As others have said the book isn't written with 'Elves of Valinor' remotely in mind, there would be no way Tolkien would just drop that reference into a book he was writing which was meant to be more of a stand-alone bedtime read, not part of the 'greater Middle-earth'.

Smaug is refering to the time when Erebor and Dale were prosperous and powerful, with strong defenders. Smaug came along and ruined it all, that's kinda what the book is about and why several references are made to the 'glory days' of old.



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Rohan Peasant - Rank 2
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In that paragraph Smaug lists off his accomplishments. King under the Mountain, Girion, his people scattered, and the mysterious warriors of old, whose like has not been seen again. Separate things. Many things in the book are foreign to the average reader. Also he says when he felled the warriors of old he was young. less than 150 pass by and he goes from young to old, in his own words? Even if we take Thorin's dragon age estimation, that doesn't fit with it. Smaug would have to have a lifespan of only 200 years then. I think we can all agree that Smaug would not have a lifespan this short, being a great dragon. 



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Bard,
Geez Man!
You just don't get it.


The Hobbit is not the prequel to The Lord of The Rings.

 

The deep history of Middle Earth created and brought to light in "The Lord of The Rings" and Christopher Tolkien's release of his father's "The Silmarillion" wasn't written as part of "The Hobbit" ... it doesn't exist as part of "The Hobbit".

 

Notice in The Hobbit there are no serious reference to the Ring being an heirloom of Sauron ... The Rangers of the North don't exist ... That the sunrise sensitive trolls don't appear in The Lord of The Rings.


I'm glad that you have the imagination and perseverance to pursue your point of view ... and illogic is no detrement here ... but after you have been given, facts, insights about Tolkien's publications and the flaws that all authors have , as well as supportive data for an opposing view it makes me wonder ... is this some form of intellectual finger pulling?

 

Jaideoprism7, mouth of sauron, Mr.Baggins, Glorfindel 1235, Galin, and myself have all given you data and feedback to encourage you and challenge you ... please respect this expertise and rather than write those two paragraph rebutals (without any literary reference) pay us the small courtesy of showing that you read what we wrote and have returned to the original manuscripts of Tolkien.

 

I enjoy a divergent well thought out counter opinion ... the writers I have listed above ... have all engaged in counter opinions ... and I have learned so much from following those opinions ... including having to admit my opinion was weak ...

But I don't enjoy intellectual masturbation at all.

 

So back it up with sources, references, scholastic footwork, and academic follow-through ...

 

PLEASE!!!



-- Edited by Bear on Tuesday 20th of March 2012 09:37:53 PM

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Bard wrote: 'In that paragraph Smaug lists off his accomplishments. King under the Mountain, Girion, his people scattered, and the mysterious warriors of old, whose like has not been seen again. Separate things.'

 

I disagree we have separate things here, as it all works in context in my opinion. The fuller paragraph begins with revenge: 'Revenge' he snorted and the red light lit the hall from floor to ceiling like scarlet lightning. 'The King under the mountain is dead and where are his kin that dare take revenge. Girion Lord of dale is dead and I have eaten his people like a wolf among sheep and where are his sons' sons who dare appoach me. I kill where I wish and none dare resist. I laid low the warriors of old and their like is not in the world today. Then I was young [and tender]. Now I am old and strong, strong -- thief in the shadows.'

 

I think this is all about then and now, with the initially stated folk being the 'then' and the lack of their descendants or kin being the 'now' (or at least lately no one has dared challenge Smaug). To me this is the easy implication of this passage, and it seems enough other people naturally read it this way too. The warriors of old fits perfectly in context with what Smaug is stating here, essentially: where are the descendants of the warriors of old who dare take revenge upon him -- where are the kin of those he slew when he was but young and tender. By the way the first draft doesn't seem to have 'and tender' so Tolkien appears to have added that at some later point, which is why I bracketed it.

 

Also, an external factor would be that the revision to Thorin's statement was in the earlier chapters, and if Tolkien thought 1,000 years should affect anything else later on -- like something in the conversation with Smaug for example -- he would never get that far in any case, as the whole project was abandoned much earlier.

 



-- Edited by Galin on Wednesday 21st of March 2012 01:48:50 AM

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Rohan Peasant - Rank 2
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Date: Mar 20, 2012
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Bear, when have I ever stated that Smaug was without a doubt in the War of Wrath? Never. I hope you can understand that and see the light. And the reason I have such short replies is to keep the discussion under control. No good ever comes of arguing 6 points at once, so please don't disrespect me. And for your own so called "expertise" nothing more than a two paragraph rebuttal is needed. Finally Bear, if this discussion is so painful for you, why are you continuing to take part in it?

That's actually a very good point Galin. The best I've seen yet. I'm referring to the parallelism of the sentences, past (Smaug's assault) followed by present (no challengers). Certainly it would seem that the "warriors of old" sentence could fit into that. Well done. But, is it so impossible to swallow that he could list off his accomplishments of the recent past (sack of Erebor and Dale), separate them with a conceited statement (I kill where I wish and none dare oppose me), and then rattle off other, more lofty achievements? Is that not even a possibility? A chance?

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Bard,
I'm sorry kid.
You still don't get it ... this is an exchange among friends ... not a debating club.
You obviously do not understand academic or scholastic courtesy ...

AS for the number of points ... simple is as simple does ... and Tolkien is never simple ...

Which of his works have you read and what supplementary scholastic resources have you access to?

Another point ... you are right ... my expertise is only worth a paragraph of your rebuttal ... let me know when you have earned your PhD.



But my friends here are patient.

As for your insults ... keep them ... I participate where and with whom I choose I earned my status ... and you?
How did you happen to lose your place on the others sites ...?
One suggestion ... if you wish to exchange insults ... lets try the private message function ... that is one of its purposes ...

And last but not least ... please look at Galins postings ... notice how he gives you reference so you can learn and get more insight ... we are all just trying to help you kid ... really!

Check out a writers desk reference or even a high school grammer book.

But please don't use thias site as a vehicle for adolescent ramblings.

You have such talent and potential ...



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Rohan Peasant - Rank 2
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Date: Mar 21, 2012
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Dear Bear,

Thank you for excusing yourself from this thread. You say this is an exchange among friends, but yet you want everything cited perfectly with page numbers and such? I can understand that if I'm using an obscure book or letter as a reference, but I think we should all know his main works well enough that we shouldn't have to cite this. Isn't an exchange among friends somewhat informal? Let's get one thing straight, we're not friends.

I've read all of Tolkien's works; biography, letters, drafts, you name it. Unfinished Tales, The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Children of Hurin I have read countless times.

I think you misunderstood me on my "points" point. Seeing as how just one point can take forever to discuss, I think it's best to take one point at a time. Simple enough for you?

Don't flash your title, okay? First of all, anyone can say that, regardless of whether they have attained that or not. Secondly, you're coming across as cocky. I don't care at all about your achievements or your status. If you're going to speak in an arrogant manner, I don't want to hold a discussion with you.

Do you actually believe I insulted you? Please, show me where I erred. Maybe you should get grammar book too. Check your spelling as well. I think it's funny how you tell me to get a grammer book. You have a PHD and you can't even spell the word "grammar".

Finally, I lost my place on other sites because people with your sort of attitude were in charge.

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