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Topic: shapeshifting

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Haldir of Lorien - Rank 6
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Posts: 824
Date: Feb 21, 2013

Luthien appears to be able to morph into other creatures. If that is the case, why didn't she do it more often. And could any of the other elves do it? Could either of her parents? What goes on here?

Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Posts: 1109
Date: Feb 21, 2013
Are you refering to the 'magic' she performed with her and Beren's disguises to enter Angband?

You want it for Yourself!
Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Posts: 2960
Date: Feb 22, 2013


I think the best example of shape-shifting is of Beorn in The Hobbit ...

"In that last hour Beorn himself had appeared - no one knew how or from where. He came alone, and in bear's shape; and he seemed to have grown almost to giant-size in his wrath. The roar of his voice was like drums and guns; and he tossed wolves and goblins from his path like straws and feathers. He fell upon their rear, and broke like a clap of thunder through the ring. The dwarves were making a stand still about their lords upon a low rounded hill. Then Beorn stooped and lifted Thorin, who had fallen pierced with spears, and bore him out of the fray. Swiftly he returned and his wrath was redoubled, so that nothing could withstand him, and no weapon seemed to bite upon him. He scattered the bodyguard, and pulled down Bolg himself and crushed him. Then dismay fell on the Goblins and they fled in all directions." (The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, Chapter XVIII ~"The Return Journey", pgs 259-260)

And in this discussion of "shapeshifting" I think there is a question of "what is magic?" in Tolkien's works.
A simple example, but thought-provoking none the less; is Sam's wanting to see "a little elf magic" when he is invited by Galadriel to join Frodo in looking into her mirror. Or perhaps the blades glowing at the approach or presence of orcs ... or the palantiri?
And the Luthien example has a multitude of paths ... she is daughter of a Maiar ... could this be an elvish ability unique to the species or branch of elven heritage?

Perhaps we can ask is shapeshifting magic at all?

Interesting question with lots of avenues from which to approach it!!!

(PS: Use the "Search The Forums"tool on the Forum sections toolbar with the topic "magic" ... you will find some amazing posts from our fellow members ... discussions I found were simply amazing!)


-- Edited by Bear on Friday 22nd of February 2013 01:01:18 AM


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

Haldir of Lorien - Rank 6
Status: Offline
Posts: 824
Date: Feb 22, 2013

Yes, I am. The first time it was more of a disguise using the hair from the wolf they killed. The second it seemed like it was magic magic.

Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
Status: Offline
Posts: 2161
Date: Feb 23, 2013

No, I don't think Luthien had any shape-shifting ability at all.

The 'disguise' she created using the 'bat-fell' and 'wolf-hame' in getting into Angband seems to be a more extreme version of the same type of concealment magic that the cloaks the hobbits had from Lorien in the FotR possessed.

-- Edited by Glorfindel on Saturday 23rd of February 2013 12:11:33 AM


Utúlie'n  aurë!  Aiya  Eldalië  ar  Atanatári,  utúlie'n  aurë! 
Auta  i  lómë! 
Aurë entuluva!

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