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Topic: Feanor vs Galadriel

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Date: Jan 21, 2010
Feanor vs Galadriel

Ding ding
Round One

So who was the greatest of the First Born ?

I'm putting an argument forward for.....Feanor.

He achieved something that could not be replicated by even the Valar !

He had a greater effect on Arda than Galadriel.

Long will Mandos keep his spirit...aye and for good reason.

But who was greater ?

By what criteria , shall we judge ?



-- Edited by Filli on Thursday 21st of January 2010 10:22:35 PM

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Filli,
I will keep looking and find my own "Greatest First Born!"
But straight up it won't be Feanor...I think he is a psycho first class...in our society he would be on death row...
Lets hear the criteria...
Bear


-- Edited by Bear on Friday 22nd of January 2010 03:02:00 AM

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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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Awaiting further instruction with baited breath and my fingers hovering over the keys!!



-- Edited by lomoduin on Friday 22nd of January 2010 03:52:15 AM

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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So who was the greatest of the First Born?

We could say who Tolkien said the greatest of all the Eldar is.

It's not Feanor or Galadriel.

He also noted (sort of) who was greater, Feanor or Galadriel...

... using this term anyway.

But that would be Tolkien's take, whatever his criteria wink

A nightingale flies overhead






-- Edited by Galin on Saturday 23rd of January 2010 12:27:31 AM

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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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So give, Galin. Who did Tolkien say was the greatest first born?

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Well the Silmarillion names Feanor not only as the greatest 'in hand and mind' of the Elves, but of all the Children of Iluvatar.

Elsewhere it also states that Galadriel was greatest of the Noldor, save only Feanor.

Perhaps Galin has some letter quote or some such to bring into the fray?wink.gif

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Maybe a note to a late text...

... but the hint is in my last post biggrin

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Galin,
Are you claiming Luthien?
I certainly would put her up there!


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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Furry Burgers

Ok , power o greatness is subjective.

The criteria shall be ....affect

Who had the greatest affect on Middlearth ?

Having power but no affect is just potential.

Does Luthien qualify as first born ....being half Maiar ?



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Rohan peasant - Rank 2
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If I have to choose between Feanor vs Galadriel?

Feanor to me was selfish.

Galadriel was a more gentle caring soul.

That is how I perceive their characters.


Power wise Feanor is stronger.


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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Filli,
So I asked;
"Lets hear the criteria...?" (Tolkien Forums > General Lore discussion (standard) > Feanor vs Galadriel > Bear > January 22nd, 2010)

Filli, after a short pause responded;
"The criteria shall be ... affect.
Who had the greatest affect on Middlearth?"
(Tolkien Forums > General Lore discussion (standard) > Feanor vs Galadriel > Filli > January 22nd, 2010)

Fëanor's innovative artistic character rings so true to my own studies of creative temperament. 
In my work the most creative of those that I serve have elements of obsessive-compulsive personality as well as symptoms of paranoia.  Both borderline and bipolar have periods of manic energy where they seem to be almost "on fire" with their creativity and can be completely amoral in their judgments.  There is also the complementary and inevitable depression., which can also be born of anger.

Tolkien's creation of the character of Feanor, so much aflame that his birth consumed his mother, surrounded by his half-brothers and half-sisters who he holds in suspicion, so gifted artistically yet ungenerous and amoral, leaves one eager to read more about him.
His oath and the binding of his family to destruction.  His treatment of the Teleri and the kin-slaying as well as stranding his own people and half-brother by destroying the swan -boats, denial of the Valar, show him as a megalomaniac as despicable as Tolkien's mythic fantasy history ever produced.
It is the evil of Morgoth that triggers Feanor's acts of destruction.
But is Feanor's rejection of the Valar and their offers which begins the real immediate evil.
Witness his oath;

"Then Feanor swore a terrible oath. His seven sons leapt straightaway to his side and took the selfsame vow together, and red as blood shone their drawn swords in the glare of the torches. They swore an oath which none shall break, and none should take, by even the name of Iluvatar, calling the Everlasting Dark upon them if they kept it not; and Manwe they named in witness, and Varda, and the hallowed mountain of Taniquetil, vowing to pursue with vengeance and hatred to the ends of the World Vala, Demon, Elf or Man as yet unborn, or any creature, great or small, good or evil, that time should bring forth unto the end of days, whoso should hold or take or keep a Silmaril from their possession.
Thus spoke Maedhros and Maglor and Celegorm, Curufin and Caranthir, Amrod and Amras, princes of the Noldor; and many quailed to hear the dread words. For so sworn, good or evil, an oath may not be broken, and it shall pursue oathkeeper and oathbreaker to the world's end."
(The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter IX - "Of the Flight of the Noldor", pg . 83)
Then follow acts of violence and treachery
that reveals his psychopathology and after these acts and words of violence Mandos curses the Noldor;
"Tears unnumbered ye shall shed; and the Valar will fence Valinor against you, and shut you out, so that not even the echo of your lamentation shall pass over the mountains. On the House of Feanor the wrath of the Valar lieth from the West unto the uttermost East, and upon all that will follow them it shall be laid also. Their Oath shall drive them, and yet betray them, and ever snatch away the very treasures that they have sworn to pursue. To evil end shall all things turn that they begin well; and by treason of kin unto kin and the fear of treason, shall this come to pass. The Dispossessed shall they be forever.
Ye have spilled the blood of your kindred unrighteously and have stained the land of Aman. For blood ye shall render blood, and beyond Aman ye shall dwell in Death's shadow. For though Eru appointed to you to die not in Ea, and no sickness may assail you, yet slain ye may be, and slain ye shall be: by weapon and by torment and grief; and your houseless spirits shall come then to Mandos. There long shall ye abide and yearn for your bodies, and find little pity though all whom ye have slain should entreat for you. And those that endure in Middle-earth and come not to Mandos shall grow weary of the world as with a great burden, and shall wane, and become as shadows of regret before the younger race that cometh after. The Valar have spoken."
(The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter IX - "Of the Flight of the Noldor", pg . 88)

So if the criteria is affect...with out regards to good or evil...then I have to agree with Filli...as the Bubonic plague is the great vehicle of change that affects Europe...so is the life of Feanor to Tolkien's creations of Middle-Earth.
.


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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Im just hypnotizing chickens!

Yip Feanor was bad news....

Even under the tutalage of the Valar, he was bad.

Suppose the worst of it was that he squandered his gifts, in petty jelousy and pride.

Nature versus nurture, was Feanor born bad ?

Or was Feanor fated to be what he was ?



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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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Oh don't start that again. lol

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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'Galin, are you claiming Luthien?'

Yes Bear! but it's JRRT, in author's note (note 14) to The Shibboleth of Feanor:

'These two kinsfolk, the greatest of the Eldar of Valinor,* were unfriends for ever.'

*Who together with the greatest of all the Eldar, Luthien Tinuviel, daughter of Elu Thingol, are the chief matter of the legends and histories of the Elves.

The nightingale! The two kinsfolk above are Feanor and Galadriel.

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Galin,
Getting it straight from Tolkien himself sure has authority! (no pun intended)
Luthien really makes sense even without Tolkien's endorsement.
But as far as the greatest in my opinion it is Fingolfin...I guess because he remained good despite the evil that seemed constantly surrounding him...
He may not be the one with the greatest affect...but if I could be...I would want to be...of the same moral character...
But I sure think that the amazing cutie Luthien had great affect for sure!


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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Bodwins face went all red, mum
Doot yes...mum doot
He spilled gravy..doot all down his mum.

Different slant guys.
What did they have in common ?
Ambition
Ability
Leadership
Knowledge
The desire to escape the cofinement of the Valar.

But here's what I see as the main difference.

Galadriel worked with what was. She understood and empowered and made better that which was around her..nature. She accepeted that what was, as it was good

Feanor worked with what was new. He created, he made new and invented...un-natural.
Just like Melkor, Sauron, Saruman. He disgarded that what was, and sought the alternatives that was evil.

Hmmmm is this the very essence of a male/female argument.....?

Unqualified to awnser as the ladies just use me for carnal desire



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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Galin wrote:
'Galin, are you claiming Luthien?'

Yes Bear! but it's JRRT, in author's note (note 14) to The Shibboleth of Feanor:

'These two kinsfolk, the greatest of the Eldar of Valinor,* were unfriends for ever.'

*Who together with the greatest of all the Eldar, Luthien Tinuviel, daughter of Elu Thingol, are the chief matter of the legends and histories of the Elves.

The nightingale! The two kinsfolk above are Feanor and Galadriel.


I also recall Mouth of sauron's quote.

It says that Feanor was the greatest of 'All the Children of Iluvatar'. Is this quote therefore old or obselete?

Here is the quote:

"For Feanor was made the mightiest in all parts of body and mind: in valour, in endurance, in beauty, in understanding, in skill, in strength and subtlety alike: of all the Children of Iluvatar, and a bright flame was in him."



-- Edited by Bilbo Baggins on Tuesday 26th of January 2010 12:25:09 AM

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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'It says that Feanor was the greatest of 'All the Children of Iluvatar'. Is this quote therefore old or obselete?'

If I read the information correctly, this description is not really old, and is actually taken from The Annals of Aman of the early 1950s. Christopher Tolkien notes that this praise of Feanor is not in Quenta Silmarillion (Christopher Tolkien used the Annals in his constructed Silmarillion).

But according to the Quenta Silmarillion tradition (as also in the 1977 Silmarillion): 'Of these Feanor was the mightiest in skill of word and hand, more learned in lore than his brethren; in his heart his spirit burned as flame. Fingolfin was the strongest, the most steadfast, and the most valiant. Finrod was the fairest, and the most wise of heart...' (Finrod was changed to Finarfin).

The earlier version of these Annals (but still called The Later Annals of Valinor since there is an even earlier version) included praise for Feanor too: 'Feanor was the mightiest Gnome of all that have been, wordcrafty and handcrafty, fair and strong and tall, fiery of mood and thought, hardtempered, undaunted, master of the will of others.'

And here's what Tolkien added to the second edition of 1965 (in Appendix A):  'Feanor was the greatest of the Eldar in arts and lore, but also the proudest and most self-willed.' The quote above concerning Luthien is from a text written '1968 or later'.

 
Anyway, as both 'Silmarillion' descriptions seem to appear in the same 'phase' of writing (again, the early 1950s), perhaps the very high praise from the Annals was to be tempered somewhat by the comparison beween Feanor, Fingolfin, and Finarfin -- which was 'retained' for the Later Quenta Silmarillion I (I say retained because a form of this had already appeared in the Quenta Silmarillion of the 1930s).

It's possible Tolkien was later going to lessen the impact of the quote from the Annals, in some theoretical later rewrite maybe -- but that's just noting the possible of course. I'm not sure he need have in this case, in my opinion anyway.


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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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What is your conclusion then, Galin?

I have always stood by the notion that unless there is fairly direct wording elsewhere (such as there is with the number of Balrogs being between 'three and seven', written as a side-note), then always stick with the published stuff (in this case the published Silmarillion would take priority). I also don't always believe that Tolkien's later/latest thoughts on a particular matter necessarily take priority over a long-standing tradition in his works. For example, Tolkien later found the idea of the Sun and Moon being the last Fruit and Flower of the Two Trees to be primitive and 'un-scientific'. Yet virtually everyone accepts the origin without question.

I am a bit confused as to what your actual thoughts were on that quote. Is Feanor the greatest of the Children of Iluvatar, or is he just the greatest of the Noldor?

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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'I am a bit confused as to what your actual thoughts were on that quote. Is Feanor the greatest of the Children of Iluvatar, or is he just the greatest of the Noldor?' 

Hmm, reviewing... in the 1930s Tolkien wrote: 'Of these Feanor was the mightiest in skill of word and hand, more learned in lore than his brethren; in his heart his spirit burned as flame. Fingolfin was the strongest, the most steadfast, and the most valiant. Finrod was the fairest, and the most wise of heart.' Then in the early 1950s he writes: 'For Feanor was made the mightiest in all parts of body and mind: in valour, in endurance, in beauty, in understanding, in skill, in strength and subtelty alike: of all the Children of Eru, and a bright flame was in him.'

But yet in the early 1950s Tolkien keeps the first passage, even changing Finrod to Finarfin and extending the last sentence (so we know he simply didn't overlook this). If Feanor is the mightiest 'in valour', how then is Fingolfin the most valiant? or if 'in strength' why then is Fingolfin the strongest? Or if 'in beauty' why then is Finarfin the fairest?

Maybe this is a matter of authorship and opinion: The Annals of Aman were said to be written by Rumil in the Elder Days, and held in memory by the Exiles, and parts remembered were set down in Numenor before the Shadow fell upon it. Could it be that Rumil esteemed Feanor so highly? while another author rather noted the greatness of Fingolfin and Finarfin in certain areas. In any case, the question of 'greatest' is arguably a bit less concrete than noting Balrog numbers.

'I have always stood by the notion that unless there is fairly direct wording elsewhere (such as there is with the number of Balrogs being between 'three and seven', written as a side-note), then always stick with the published stuff (in this case the published Silmarillion would take priority).'

As an aside, I do not consider the Silmarillion a published work, nor The Children of Hurin, only because Tolkien himself did not publish them -- to be clear, this is in no way any kind of a negative comment, in any measure, with respect to Christopher Tolkien's constructed Silmarillion or Children of Hurin. It is simply my very basic approach: the creator of Middle-earth published only so much -- other works are not published by him.

I imagine, for instance, that an Elf named Amros, Feanor's son, died in the burning of the ships at Losgar. Christopher Tolkien chose not to incorporate this into the 1977 Silmarillion, but the Silmarillion experience, read as a one volume tale, is to me not lessened by the fact that in this work, neither Amrod nor Amras were slain at Losgar.

'I also don't always believe that Tolkien's later/latest thoughts on a particular matter necessarily take priority over a long-standing tradition in his works. For example, Tolkien later found the idea of the Sun and Moon being the last Fruit and Flower of the Two Trees to be primitive and 'un-scientific'. Yet virtually everyone accepts the origin without question.'

I accept the Sun and Moon as hailing from the Two Trees to be part of the true legendarium, and a beautiful part, but I think the notion is intended to be seen as originating rather from Numenorean minds and hands, than Elvish (or if Elvish in part, hailing from the 'Dark Elves' of Middle-earth). I think JRRT was working toward a multi-source legendarium, and we were to have various perspectives concerning the same history --  at least with respect to the drowing of Numenor, if not Quenta Silmarillion.

I already know that not all agree with me on this, but I think Tolkien 'ratified' the Mannish text The Drowning of Anadune for example, as a legitimate tale to stand alongside Akallabeth (which I think is a mixed tradition, Elvish and Mannish, written by Elendil, a Man and an Elf-friend). In the more purely Mannish tradition, some Men believed the world had been made round at the time of Numenor's fall, despite that the Elves of the West taught them that it was round, before Numenor fell.

Anyway, if forced to choose, I suppose I would land on the descriptions of The Shibboleth of Feanor: Feanor and Galadriel were the greatest of the Eldar of Valinor, and Luthien the greatest of all the Eldar. But still, even in the early 1950s the high praise of Feanor seems intended to stand in comparison to the comparison between Feanor, Fingolfin, and Finarfin. At least possibly so.

And if so, what was the answer then? or need the answer be easy biggrin




-- Edited by Galin on Wednesday 27th of January 2010 08:01:54 PM

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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"And if so, what was the answer then? or need the answer be easy/" biggrin

Or need there be only one answer?
Galin I think you hit the nail right on the head when you point out;

"...but I think Tolkien 'ratified' the Mannish text The Drowning of Anadune for example, as a legitimate tale to stand alongside Akallabeth" (which I think is a mixed tradition, Elvish and Mannish, written by Elendil, a Man and an Elf-friend)
Tolkien's work was never really finished even in its published state...bear witness to the appendices at the end of The Lord of the Rings...there were stories left to be told.

In the one volume set of "The Lord of the Rings" published by Houghton Mifflin Company they have three lists opposite the cover page; "Works by J.R.R.Tolkien", "Works Published Posthumously", and "The History of Middle-Earth by Christopher Tolkien".
It seems that even publishers have sought and are seeking answers to the questions we have here...sort of seeking to legitimize... what is Tolkien... and what is Tolkien in progress...and what are notes never meant to be published.

But Filli's original question was a readers opinion question not a mauuscript validation one.
So who was the greatest of the First Born ?
I'm putting an argument forward for.....Feanor.
He achieved something that could not be replicated by even the Valar !
He had a greater effect on Arda than Galadriel.
Long will Mandos keep his spirit...aye and for good reason.
But who was greater ?
By what criteria , shall we judge ?


Later he states his criteria...affect.
So while the arguement about Tolkien Orthodoxy is interesting...it is a little off target from Filli's original question




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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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Agreed, Bear. I think also we need to remember that ME was a product of Tolkien's imagination and not a real place with real people. Brain children are always growing and developing and rarely remain the same or consistent throughout. The fact that Tolkien's creations are as constant as they are is an amazing and nearly impossible feat considering the vastness of them and the time span over which they were written about.  The thread's main idea lends itself to an investigative effort to answer it and I appreciate everyone's extensive knowledge.  You guys are and have always been amazing to me!

smile


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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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I cannot see how Luthien can be counted, she was half Ainur.

Forgive the crude comparison but if I bred a crow with some bright yellow bird of a different species, I could hardly enter the offspring in a competition for the 'Best coloured crow' could I? They are only half-crow.

-- Edited by Glorfindel1235 on Sunday 31st of January 2010 01:03:04 AM

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