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Topic: Melkor vs the Ainur

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Haldir of Lorien - Rank 6
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Posts: 812
Date: Jul 24, 2012
Melkor vs the Ainur

I've been listening to the Sil on youtube and something struck me that I had not thought of: why was it so difficult for all of the Ainur (Valar) to take on just Melkor and defeat him? I realize that Melkor was supposed to be greatest of the Ainur, but Manwe wasn't that much weaker (if that's the right word) than Melkor AND it was 14 vs. 1.

Any thoughts?



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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Date: Jul 25, 2012
In those early days Melkor was extremely powerful. It's a bit hard to imagine exactly how a battle with beings who could shape-shift and presumably wield the elements and all that type of stuff could take place. I think it mainly consisted of the Valar building stuff and Melkor, once they had gone off somewhere else, coming along and destroying it. The book seems to suggest that the other fourteen Valar were only sufficient enough to keep Melkor at bay (I think it might even say Melkor had the upper hand), it took Tulkas to tip the balance.

Maybe Galin could elaborate on this.

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Date: Jul 27, 2012

Laurelin and Mr. Baggins,

I think, just like in real life, evil often squanders its energy in the vindictive and sometimes petty.
Still, in its early manifestation, it can catch "The Good" and rain ruin and destruction on the unprepared innocent and good.

But to the specific's of the question as to the strength and dominance of Melkor I give you Tolkien himself ..

.

"Last of all is set the name of Melkor, He who arises in Might. But that name he has forfeited; and the Noldor, who among the Elves suffered most from his malice, will not utter it, and they name him Morgoth, the Dark Enemy of the World. Great might was given to him by Ilvatar, and he was coeval with Manw. In the powers and knowledge of all the other Valar he had part, but he turned them to evil purposes, and squandered his strength in violence and tyranny. For he coveted Arda and all that was in it, desiring the kingship of Manw and dominion over the realms of his peers.
From splendour he fell through arrogance to contempt for all things save himself, a spirit wasteful and pitiless. Understanding he turned to subtlety in perverting to his own will all that he would use, until he became a liar without shame. He began with the desire of Light, but when he could not possess it for himself alone, he descended through fire and wrath into a great burning, down into Darkness. And darkness he used most in his evil works upon Arda, and filled it with fear for all living things."
(The Silmarillion, Valaquenta, "Of the Enemies", pg 31)

So I think that in the beginning it was Melkor's having a part of each Ainur and Maiar that made it difficult for them to overcome his manipulation and dominance. And as he changed what he had into darkness and evil he lost that power and became vulnerable to the Ainur and Maiar.



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Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit
Called or uncalled, God is present

Haldir of Lorien - Rank 6
Status: Offline
Posts: 812
Date: Jul 27, 2012

Thank you both for responding to my question.

It makes sense that having each of the Ainur as part of his being Melkor would have been harder to defeat. And that he'd come out after the Ainur had left an area, mess it up and run back to his fortress.

I think one of the things I had been wondering about the Ainur is if they felt any hesitation in defeating/destroying Melkor. It couldn't have been easy to make war upon someone who used to be "brother" to Manwe even if he had turned evil. But, perhaps I am putting too much "human" emotion into it.



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Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
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Date: Jul 28, 2012
The key to anything is desire!

Not to glorify it, in fact it (desire) has reared its' ugly head throughout our history, much to humanity's harm. I'll explain...

Melkor was born of the same stuff as the other Valar but what set him apart? The first thing was Desire! He sang his part of the song in discordance. That's all good and stuff. I, myself, am a huge appreciator of Death Metal and Grundge which is a departure from regular beats, lyrics and conventional songwriting. Few people find that music good or appealing and I can't slight them for that, in fact I think it makes it like an untapped resource like untouched forests and jungles. Melkor thought to increase his part because he innocently wanted to set himself apart (my thoughts are that he meant to make Illuvatar proud, a very; "Look at me" moment),
and was checked. When others single you out your base reaction is to rebel against their idea or the feeling of rejection. He was a victim through his naivety (if that's how it's spelled). I might be giving you all too much information, but I believe the similes had to be made.

His malice from his hurt was the common link in all of us. Some shrink at humility, some explode. Our friend Melkor chose the latter and he embraced it indeed. But we couldn't have a good realm of story telling without a antagonist somewhere.....what say you.....?

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Posts: 2960
Date: Jul 28, 2012

Jaidoprism7,
Interesting psychological thread.

The dynamics in a family type system ... a co-dependent "middle child" seeking validation from a father figure ... Because Melkor was so powerful his ego could not balance the "shadow" part of himself leading to an over-reaction isolating and manipulating his siblings ... developing an addiction to the power and attention ... he reacts by attacking those he feels have rejected him ... examples Illuvatar & Feanor ... destroying or stealing ... any object or system ... created or cherished by his rejectors ...

Very interesting.

I think more can be said about this ...



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Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit
Called or uncalled, God is present

Haldir of Lorien - Rank 6
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Posts: 812
Date: Jul 29, 2012

Jaidoprism7,

I think you really hit it in terms of where Melkor's anger comes from. I had never noticed it as much until I started listening to the Sil (not sure who the man reading is). For some reason when I read the book, I missed the jealousy and anger over hurt pride that started Melkor down his path. It started me thinking of all the times I/we as humans do the exact same thing. I wonder did Melkor's desire to sing his own tune stem from the desire to please Illuvatar, to feel special, or from his desire to have Illuvatar's power? Myself, I would argue that it was from the latter. As you say, the key is Melkor's desire. Even more, it is what he was desiring and what drove him. If he had wanted to create things that were his own, he could have done so and still remained "in harmony" with Illuvatar. Each of the other Ainur were able to have their own special piece of the song and help create things dear to their hearts. Aule desired to create something that he could love when he made the dwarves. It was wrong of him to have done so, since it went against Illuvatar's plan. But, the motivations, allowed Aule to accept Illuvatar's correction in a humble way instead of lashing out at Illuvatar's whole creation, as Melkor did. I hope this makes sense.


And of course the villain is needed :)



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