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Topic: Broken Rules

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Date: Jun 21, 2009
Broken Rules

Hi all

Now we know and love Tokien's world. The author over the years created a mythos and history in remarkable detail. His attention to detail is incredible, and his world follows rules of sorts....

But here's the question....where and why did the author intentialy try to upset his own rigid mythos ?

The obvious example is Tom Bombadil, but are there any more upsetting , odd or unexplainable quirks ?

Oh and I was at the summer solstice at Stonehendge.....nice!

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Date: Jun 22, 2009
Filli,
Wow! Your question is worth a book or maybe a hundred books. And Christopher Tolkien has already written half of them. And the rest of the academic world the other half. (this may be an exaggeration- a little)
Try "Unfinished Tales", the two-part "Book of Lost Tales", or any of "The History of Middle Earth" series. There is a whole book on Tom Bombadil.
Tolkien wrote during World War I and before and all the way to his death in 1973. He was constantly changing names and plots, inventing new languages, writing right on top of what he had written before, erasing whole pages of pencil, writing in margins, and a zillion other deviations and side-trips.
That is part of what Christopher Tolkien is all about; taking this stuff and putting it together in a readable format. That is how we got the Silmarillion and other books.
Check out the appendices in The Lord of the Rings...
That is a great place to start!


-- Edited by Bear on Tuesday 23rd of June 2009 12:03:51 AM

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Tolkien originally had the idea of the Eagles of Middle-earth being Maiar. The messengers of Manwe. But this had to be discarded when he wrote in the Lord of the Rings that Gwaihir the Windlord was a descendant of Thorondor. It was a mistake as he had decided that Ainur could not have offspring.

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Date: Jun 24, 2009

Hi All

Melian had offspring....

Anyway how about the sons of Feanor raising Elros and Elrond.....?



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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Hmm yeah but that was a Maiar bound to a physical form having offspring with an Elf. Ainur/Ainur offspring was abandoned.

Not sure about the sons of Feanor.

-- Edited by Bilbo Baggins on Thursday 25th of June 2009 10:11:10 PM

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Tom Bombadil
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I guess he patterned it after Angels, who are also not able to have offspring. Interesting. But what is that about Elrond and Elros being raised by the sones of Feanor?

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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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If the Maiar were eagles aren't they also bound to physical form? Or did different rules apply? Also, were they able to shape-shift like Luthian did on her way to save Beren? ie, Beorn?

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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I realize there's a bit of repetition in the following post -- with another recent thread, but it's a good thread to bump in any event, I think.

Tolkien decided that the Valar do not self-array and have children (in Osanwe-kenta), and that Melian's case was the only known case among the Maiar, but I'm not sure he was thinking about the eagles or the Maiar-orcs when he had Pengolodh note this. And I'll have to read up on the eagles pre-Lord of the Rings (hey, something to investigate!) but in 1951 -- well I'll just quote it: 'In the following text C, also of 1937, this became: Thorondor was their leader, and with him were his mightiest vassals, wide-winged Lhandroval, and Gwaewar lord of the wind.' This was emended (in 1951, see p. 294) to 'Gwaihir the lord of storm', and in this form the passage is found in the QS manuscript. It was omitted in The Silmarillion on account of the passage in The Return of the King (VI. 4): 'There came Gwaihir the Windlord, and Landroval his brother... mightiest of the descendants of old Thorondor, who built his eyries in the inaccessible peaks of the Encircling Mountains when Middle-earth was young.' At the time, I did not understand the nature and dating of the end of QS. It now appears that there was no reason to suppress the names; in fact, it seems that Gwaewar was changed to Gwaihir to bring it into accord with The Lord of the Rings - however this is to be interpreted.' CJRT, The Lost Road

This change seems pretty compelling to me, and I would at least lean to interpreting this as Tolkien making these eagles the same eagles, thus very old indeed, suggesting Maiar. But with respect to certain texts, as noted in another thread, there's no seeming way to date which statements came before the others. For examples:

'Manwe however sent Maia spirits in Eagle form to dwell near Thangorodrim...' Note to the typescript, Annals of Aman '... many of the Maiar robed themselves like other lesser living things, as trees, flowers, beasts. (Huan.)' Note on the page for Myths Transformed, text V  'Huan and Sorontar could be Maiar -- emissaries of Manwe. But unfortunately in The Lord of the Rings Gwaehir and Landroval are said to be descendants of Sorontar.' Myths Transformed text VIII (Tolkien here decides that the eagles are elevated beasts, not Maiar)

These appear to hail from the late 1950s. My (other) question for Tolkien would be: why is it necessarily unfortunate that Gwaehir and Landroval are said to be descendants of Thorondor in The Lord of the Rings? The very same text (text VIII) goes on to imply that Maiar-orcs can practice -- when embodied -- procreation, and Tolkien compares this to Melian. Why not make the Eagles, at least some of them, Maiar, and yet descendants of old Thorondor?

Well, if JRRT wanted to, that is smile

-- Edited by Galin on Tuesday 9th of November 2010 04:02:06 AM

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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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What was the conlusion to that Galin? Are the Eagles Maiar spirits that can somehow produce offsrping, or are they Maiar spirits that cannot produce offspring or are they not Maiar spirits at all because of this contradictory element of Maiar not having offspring?

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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I don't have a conclusion here Bilbo, but what-ifs and questions.

If some of the eagles were Maiar, then I don't see why two Maiar-eagles could not have offspring. Tolkien can certainly decide that they can't, for whatever reason, but when he writes: 'Huan and Sorontar could be Maiar -- emissaries of Manwe. But unfortunately in The Lord of the Rings Gwaehir and Landroval are said to be descendants of Sorontar.' My question is: why 'unfortunately'? JRRT here quotes his own already published statement as a seeming roadblock, but by itself, to my mind it isn't. 

I don't think the word Maia(r) was ever published by Tolkien. If I recall correctly, in The Return of the King Melian is implied to be a Vala, and only readers of 'unpublished' stories know that she is really meant to be one of the Maiar, and know what a 'Maia' is. 

The answer (of sorts) would appear to be that it's only 'unfortunate' because Tolkien is deciding here, or has decided already, that Maiar can't have descendants. In other words: if and when Tolkien decides that Maiar cannot have descendants, then yes Thorondor would be problematic as a Maia, as two other eagles are said to be his descendants in a description already in print.

OK but again, the simple statement from The Lord of the Rings allows for Maiar... to have descendants! 

biggrin

The other problem is simply that we can't seem to tell which text is later than the other. Are certain eagles Maiar-spirits or not? I can't tell which came later -- the text in which Tolkien says some are Maiar -- or the one where he decides that they are not.

-- Edited by Galin on Friday 12th of November 2010 05:09:32 AM

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Tower Guard of Minas Tirith - Rank 4
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I'm sorry I may just be showing off my ignorance again but; Galin, I've never heard the term 'Maiar-orcs' before. What are they and where are they in Tolkien's tale?

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But no wizardry nor spell, neither fang nor venom,nor devil's art nor beast-strength, could overthrow Huan of Valinor;
Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Ah, Christopher Tolkien did not incorporate the Maiar-orcs into the 1977 Silmarillion, probably because the Orc-formed Maiar do not appear (I think) in the Quenta Silmarillion specifically -- I really should check that however! but in any case they are not in the constructed Silmarillion published in 1977.

 

When Tolkien was musing about variant origins for orcs (in the late 1950s early 1960s) he wrote a number of ideas down, and the Orc-formed Maiar were a relatively consistent idea among the various notions concerning the origin of 'regular' orcs.

 

That is, the Maiar-orcs were not regular orcs, and were relatively few in number. They were great and terrible long-lived orcs -- Maiar spirits who took on the shape of orcs -- who might be captains among the regular orcs. I think Tolkien 'should' (or could) have made more use of them in the First Age, but that's another story!



-- Edited by Galin on Friday 23rd of September 2011 04:57:34 AM

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Tower Guard of Minas Tirith - Rank 4
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Is there any chance of these maiar orcs making it into the second or third age?

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But no wizardry nor spell, neither fang nor venom,nor devil's art nor beast-strength, could overthrow Huan of Valinor;
Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Ah good question!

 

I think it was possible in theory, but I can't remember if JRRT ever noted anything specific here (like whether or not they were all slain or something, before the Second Age). When I get a chance (and if I remember!) I'll take another look at HME, because I seem to remember something that might be relevant here.



-- Edited by Galin on Friday 23rd of September 2011 05:40:25 AM

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Filli, Hope you are around somewhere. So do you consider raising of Elrons and Elros by the two elder Feanor's sons a break in the rules? That they took pity on the kids and brought them up in the best possible way it seems? But that was consistent with their character - their attack on the Havens wasn't and the whole Oath thing wasn't either. They were well-qualified for the job (having had 5 younger brothers) - and those twins should have reminded them of their lost twin brothers too. And all the guilt the Feanorians felt... So no wonder Elrond and Elros turned out wise and good and all that. It would be interesting to know when and how exactly and by whom the story of their adoption was related to Elrond and Elros, if at all.

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