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Topic: The Valar and Fear

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Date: Nov 18, 2006
The Valar and Fear

As we know Melkor was the only one of the Valar to know fear (I cannot locate the quote aat present but you know which one I mean). However look at these:


"And the Valar could not at that time overcome him, for the greater part of their strength was needed to restrain the tumults of the Earth, and to save from ruin all that could be saved of their labour; and afterwards they feared to rend the Earth again, until they knew where the Children of Ilúvatar were dwelling, who were yet to come in a time that was hidden from the Valar."


"But fearing that the other Valar might blame his work, he wrought in secret: and he made first the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves in a hall under the mountains in Middle-earth."


 


"'Not unless Melkor darken their hearts,' said Yavanna. And she was not appeased, but grieved in heart, fearing what might be done upon Middle-earth in days to come."


 


"Then again the Valar were gathered in council, and they were divided in debate. For some, and of those Ulmo was the chief, held that the Quendi should be left free to walk as they would in Middle-earth, and with their gifts of skill to order all the lands and heal their hurts. But the most part feared for the Quendi in the dangerous world amid the deceits of the starlit dusk; and they were filled moreover with the love of the beauty of the Elves and desired their fellowship."


 


"Now the Valar were sitting in council before their gates, fearing the lengthening of the shadows, when the messengers came from Formenos."


 


Can anyone explain???



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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the Valar are indeed Ainur, angelic-like creatures, but still they are also subject to emotions just as all other creatures in Ea.
they cry (Aule as he must kill the Dwarves), they love, they envy (for example men for receiving the gift of death, and yes, they also fear


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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Unfortunately you are incorrect there TM as Glorfindel said in his first post, Melkor was the only Valar to know fear:


"That was the last time in those wars that he passed the doors of his stronghold, and it is said that he took not the challenge willingly; for though his might was greatest of all things in this world, alone of the Valar he knew fear."
The silmarillion


As to why Tolkien seemed to have made such a fundamental mistake here I do not know.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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indeed...I too find it strange the master would say that
I wasn't sure about the quote, I thought it might mean that Melkor was the only Valar to have fear in a ceratin moment, but as shown from the quote you have given, that is not true, as Tolkien seems to speak bout valar and fear in general
in this case, I must agree with your idea...my only thought is that this is an un-edited mistake in the sil
Tolkien did make many edits to the original LOTR, so this theory is plausable

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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I just thought there might be a more understandable reason for the mistake, without it being an edit or a contradiction. Perhaps someone else could clear this matter up? I hear that Galin has a gift for obscure quote finding....

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Royal Guard of Menegroth - Rank 5
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I think the distinction is in that Melkor alone knew personal fear. The rest of the Valar feared for others, but not their own personal safety. I could be wrong, but that is how I was reading the quotes supplied.

Galin does have a gift for obscure quotes so maybe he could assist.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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indeed that makes sense Celethil, and considering the personalities of the Valar I can think that this is correct...still, some quotes would be good

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Royal Guard of Menegroth - Rank 5
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I think the quotes above suffice. Note that the Valar are fearing for Middle-Earth or the Quendi or damage to the world.

Melkor feared Ungoliant, Fingolfin, the Valar (esp. Tulkas), and probably other things and people.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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There is anterior text which I think helps show the distinction Celethil is speaking to...



'Yet it is said that though his power and strength is the greatest of the Valar and of all things here below, at heart he is a craven when alone, and that he took not the challenge willingly.' JRRT The Quenta (Qenta Noldorinwa) The Shaping of Middle-Earth


So Morgoth is a coward here, his fear is abject fear. In the Quenta Silmarillion the passage is different of course, though even here we are quite early compared to The Lord of the Rings. Later Tolkien did make slight revisions to the wording in Quenta Silmarillion -- that is, in the sentence 'for though his might is greatest of all things in this world, alone of the Valar he knows fear' the words 'is' and 'knows' were changed to 'was' and 'knew' (as in Christopher's constructed version).


Anyway, in Morgoth's Ring there is the interesting comment...



'Morgoth at the time of the War of the Jewels had become permanently 'incarnate': for this reason he was afraid, and waged the war almost entirely by means of devices, or of subordinates and dominated creatures.' Note on motives in the Silmarillion


Followed later by '[Morgoth's staying 'at home' has, as described above, quite a different reason: his fear of being killed or even hurt ...]'. Anyway, hard to say if JRRT would have further altered the wording in question if he had finished his own Silmarillion for publication; though in any case I tend to agree he was referring to a distinct type of fear with Morgoth.


Well I gave it a shot. I won't always be able to come up with (or have time to come up with) a quote, but thanks for thinking this Tolkien Forums newbie might be able to find something of interest 



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Soldier of the East - Rank 4
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Indeed it seems you have a gift for finding these kind of quotes.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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indeed very good quotes
interestingly, he was brave enough to face Fingolfin (hope I am correct), still he probably only did so because the situation was not so easy for his army, perhaps he thought it might be a risk worth taking, and he probably knew he would win

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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The Might - the idear of that quote was to show how much of a coward Morgoth was. It was not 'brave' that he agreed to fight Fingolfin it was done only becuase all this captains were with him so he could notreally refuse the fight.


That was the last time in those wars that he passed the doors of his stronghold, and it is said that he took not the challenge willingly; for though his might was greatest of all things in this world, alone of the Valar he knew fear. But he could not now deny the challenge before the face of his captains; for the rocks rang with the shrill music of Fingolfin's horn, and his voice came keen and clear down into the depths of Angband; and Fingolfin named Morgoth craven, and lord of slaves.
The Silmarillion


Even so he should not have had to even think about it - He was the most powerful being in Ea after all.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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that is correct...still, as said in the SIlmarillion, he lost much of his powers because he always corrupted others, one of the results being, as already stated in this thread that he could no longer change his shape
he was not so powerfull anymore, as he was before the creation of Arda, however, it is true he was stronger then Fingolfin

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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You are partially correct there TM:


Melkor was the most powerful of all the valar, and indeed more powerful than ALL the other Valar in the beginning (save Tulkas). Then when Tulkas descended it was the straw that broke the camels back.


It is told among the wise that the First War began before Arda was full-shaped, and ere yet there was any thing that grew or walked upon earth; and for long Melkor had the upper hand. But in the midst of the war a spirit of great strength and hardihood came to the aid of the Valar, hearing in the far heaven that there was battle in the Little Kingdom; and Arda was filled with the sound of his laughter. So came Tulkas the Strong, whose anger passes like a mighty wind, scattering cloud and darkness before it; and Melkor fled before his wrath and his laughter, and forsook Arda, and there was peace for a long age.
The silmarillion


So as you can see, Melkor had the upper hand against all the vaalr, save Tulkas.



But as you say Melkor squandered much of his power into the things he corrupted until he had not the power to hold back the valar. BUT he was still stronger than ANY ONE of them:


That was the last time in those wars that he passed the doors of his stronghold, and it is said that he took not the challenge willingly; for though his might was greatest of all things in this world, alone of the Valar he knew fear. But he could not now deny the challenge before the face of his captains; for the rocks rang with the shrill music of Fingolfin's horn, and his voice came keen and clear down into the depths of Angband; and Fingolfin named Morgoth craven, and lord of slaves.
The Silmarillion


As you can see Morgoth was still the greatest being in Arda even nigh to his downfall.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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I have not said, he was not the most powerfull anymore, this he was indeed
Still, he was not so strong as before.
Plus, perhaps his fear was also influenced by the memory of his fight against Ungoliant, a fight which he almost lost
Of course Fingolfin was not as strong as him or Ungoliant, but still it might be another reason to explain Melkor's fear.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Indeed also he had not left his fortress for so long and had become a coward in the darkness, only ever giving orders. Also  the battle of Unnumbered Tears may have made him more fearful becuase the Elves were near victory in so much that they were nigh to breaking into his chamber in Angband.


Also perhaps the Horn of Fingolfin reminded him of Orome.



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