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Fordim Hedgethistle 02-22-2006 01:31 PM

Speaking of a Silly Poll
 
Oh, this was just too good an idea to disappear...

Read, and then decide...

Roa_Aoife 02-22-2006 02:03 PM

Finwe. His bravery in facing Melkor was so amazing. He also showed wisdom in answering the call of the Valar. And he's Number One! :D


And I hate Feanor. He's ... well, it's not a word the language filters would allow. (No offense to Feanor of the Downs.)

Son of Númenor 02-22-2006 02:10 PM

Elven Jim Morrison
 
I chose Fëanor, because I've always had a soft spot for brilliant and tortured minds who eventually collapse into paranoia and self-destruction. And "Sil Kitchen" is still the greatest single of all time. Er, I mean...

Kuruharan 02-22-2006 02:27 PM

I'm going to continue my habit of perversely refusing to answer the question asked...
 
...and vote Finrod.

He may not have been The Noldorian High King, but he was a Noldorian king. :smokin:

the guy who be short 02-22-2006 02:29 PM

Who in their right mind would argue with SoN? None of the others come close to rivalling the sheer awe inspiring tragedy and majesty of Feanor.

Folwren 02-22-2006 02:37 PM

Oh, man, Fingolfin, definitely. Apart of Maedhros, he's probably my favorite elf in the entire history! His lone combat against Morgoth was awesome, and the fact he died in it makes it even more so. And he endured so much by the hand of Feanor and made it all the way across the ice. . .a chap can't really help but like him.

-- Folwren

Anguirel 02-22-2006 03:28 PM

Feanor was an Elf of genius, a great tragic hero, and possessed fine words. He had a correct anti-authoritarian instinct as well. But I can't quite forgive him for the impetuosity with which he destroyed the lives of his seven marvellous sons, many of whom were in their way as great as he. (I'd argue that Maedhros and Maglor were both greater, in fact. Whatever Tolkien says!)

Fingolfin is a stubborn, self-righteous usurper. He's excellent at cornering the moral highground, and striking noble postures; in the end, he was fortunate in finding such a good death. Any of the other great Noldorin princes, especially Maedhros, would have left just as impressive an account of themselves in that situation. What we tend to forget is that it was born of defeatism and despair.

Fingon...now there's a real High King. The breadth to see the need, repeatedly, for a united Noldorin front. Eventually he was to give his life for that unity. A death just as noble as his fathers, in a constructive battle not a duel that was more like a deathwish. A vanquisher of dragons. Faithful to his cousin Maedhros when all others turned away.

Turgon-another High King of at best debatable legitimacy. Wise policies and a relatively good judge of Elves, allowing Maeglin to show his quality despite his heritage. But rather manipulatory in his dealings with Hurin. Good king of Gondolin, but too isolationist to be an effective High King.

Gil-Galad-inherited the best of many of his ancestors. We tend to forget Gil-Galad's long reign in the Second Age before Dagorlad, but it was marked by wisdom, caution and discernment, as well as fine diplomacy. Another gallant death. Should have probably provided more effectively for a successor.

So in conclusion I vote Fingon-the greatest High King, though not quite the greatest hero of the Noldor.

Oh and Finwe? Never had to toil in the North and was pretty useless at the limited demands his task called for, completely screwing up his family for a nice Vanyar piece...

drigel 02-22-2006 03:28 PM

1: Fingolfin, whose deeds I had the most admiration for.
2: Turgon, whose deeds I most probably would have done, given the same circumstances.

Eonwe 02-22-2006 03:50 PM

Fingolfin, certainly:

Feanor is certainly a compelling character. Driven by passions and a fierce spirit, he most definitely goes down as the most glorious King of the Noldor. The rendering of the Silmarils, skill of his hands...and who can deny the sheer awesomeness of Feanor pursuing his foes to his death, his heart rejoicing and his voice lifted up in song...

However, Fingolfin is the mainstay of the Noldor. While Feanor is pidling around spewing wrathful venom, wreaking havock and whatnot.It is he that leads the greater part of the main body. He holds together the army when it would have been sundered. Where would they then have been? Feanor smashed by Melkors pinky, and the rest exiled and with no place to turn to. And Fingolfin also has passion and a fierce spirit, as shown in the crossing of teh Grinding Ice, and his despairing battle with Melkor, of which teh elves do not sing, and the Orc do not speak. Basically, he's the man.

Lalaith 02-22-2006 05:16 PM

Oh, how I *despise* Turgon.....

Which is why I like Fingon, the anti-Turgon (I agree btw Kuru, Finrod is even cooler but he wasn't High King...)

Elu Ancalime 02-22-2006 07:15 PM

I voted Fingolfin.

He wouldnt have been my first pick, but Finrod is another liked king of mine. But really, what a bout Finarfin? He was the High King in Aman after Finwe and the Flight of the Noldor really, all the others were High Kings in Beleriand (and Gil-Galad in Lindon). I mean after the Second Age, he was the man, right?(elf...)
________
Mercedes-benz slk-class

Nilpaurion Felagund 02-22-2006 07:50 PM

Quote:

[I'm going to continue my habit of perversely refusing to answer the question asked...]

...and vote Finrod.

He may not have been The Noldorian High King, but he was a Noldorian king. :smokin: (Kuru)
Hear, hear! My father was one of the greatest of the Noldorin princes, and he was the youngest one, at that.

I maintain that he is the only one of the Noldor to break the Doom of Mandos through his own deed (keeping his oath to Beren). Besides, his duel against Sauron is no lesser deed compared to Fingolfin's duel with Morgoth.

But he wasn't a high king. *sigh*

Vzv, Elu, my granddad Finarfin did not use the title 'High King of the Noldor.' Though I wonder why . . .

Elu Ancalime 02-22-2006 08:40 PM

Quote:

Vzv, Elu, my granddad Finarfin did not use the title 'High King of the Noldor.' Though I wonder why . . .
I thought Tolkien (in very few places though) said off-handedly that Finarfin, since he went back, was 'recognized' as the High King, (whether he used the title or no is odd indeed)

Also, in many places, (is the Fall of Gil-Galad one?) it said Gil-Galad was the 'Last High King of the Noldor in Middle-Earth.' implying that Finarfin was the one in Aman, i assumed.
________
Toyota Ae86

Alcarillo 02-22-2006 10:39 PM

Feanor, definently. The rest of the kings' lackluster stories of typical kingly and heroic deeds pale in comparison to Feanor's madness-driven tragedy. Sure, he may have been a little . . . crazy, but that's what makes him cool. :cool:

Thinlómien 02-23-2006 06:41 AM

I second Kuru! If Finrod can't be voted, I won't vote. And Maedhros too. But could he be called a king? Wouldn't he rather actually be a lord?

Lalwendë 02-23-2006 09:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lalaith
Oh, how I *despise* Turgon.....

He's one of my least favourite characters too. Of course he is not evil in the way that Morgoth was evil, but his behaviour is still highly questionable to me. I think that hiding away his city was a natural reaction to the threat his people faced, but in doing so he effectively condemned said people to a life (and an endless life, at that) in a prison. Gondolin, the Gated Community of Arda. Hmmm...

Then there was his reaction to the appearance of Eol. Rules of Gondolin aside, I think his sense of 'ownership' of Aredhel was questionable at best, and when trying to decide who was the bigger hot-head, Turgon or Eol, I find that they are not very different at all.

Turgon seems to have the attitude of the 'conqueror', and once settled in his new land, he becomes insular. I think that it was no mistake that attitude towards the first Men to enter Gondolin was very different to that expressed towards Eol; he may have come to realise that the hope to keep Gondolin secret was one held in vain.

I realise many will disagree with me, but this is one of my favourite topics of argument. :p

In terms of who was the 'best' King, I think it would have to be Gil-galad. But in terms of which was most interesting and complex, I may possibly opt for Feanor, even though I do not like him very much.

Thinlómien 02-23-2006 09:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lalwendë
I realise many will disagree with me, but this is one of my favourite topics of argument. :p

Sorry to disappoint you, but I agree with you. Turgon, though he's sometimes quite sympathic, is the king of a prison.
Following this logic, it was actually a good thing that Gondolin fell, since all those "prisoners" who could escape alive would be free... ;)

drigel 02-23-2006 09:33 AM

i dont mind being a dissapointment, and can argue the other side of Turgon if you guys want me to.

alatar 02-23-2006 11:16 AM

Fingolfin.

Whatever the accomplishments and failures of the others, I just can't help but admire an elf who gave the mightiest Ainur a permanent limp. Melkor never bragged about that fight, even though Fingolfin was slain.

And I suspect deus ex machina in Fingolfin's fall, and though an Eagle was sent so that his broken body could be recovered (a consolation prize), he was terminated before the big secret got out (psst! We can boot the Ainur out of Arda and take over...).

Anguirel 02-23-2006 11:23 AM

Reading alatar's post, it's just struck me that Fingolfin's duel with Morgoth is a sort of visual representation of Feanor's career-hopeless but glorious combat with forces beyond anyone's capabilities to defeat. Indeed, even Frodo's battle with the Ring is a similar valiant defeat. Interesting. Probably just a lesser spotted archetype though.

Bêthberry 02-23-2006 11:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anguirel
Probably just a lesser spotted archetype though.

For a moment I thought Anguirel was engaging in a birder's endeavour to identify the sometimes sighted deux ex machina.

And I say it's a dead poll or an ex-poll at least--at the risk of Fordim making me take a silly walk. :D

Tuor of Gondolin 02-23-2006 11:47 AM

Another write-in vote for Finrod Felagund. Not
only a great sounding name but a killer of
werewolves without using weapons (a sporting
chap). (Imagine what he would have done to
The Hobbit's Chief Warg (Mwaaa!). :D

Mithalwen 02-23-2006 12:09 PM

Turgon at least had the wisdom to accept Tuor and from that came salvation.

I adore Finrod but my vote if he is excluded must be Fingolfin.

drigel 02-23-2006 12:27 PM

Quote:

Turgon at least had the wisdom to accept Tuor and from that came salvation.
At the very least :)

Lalaith 02-23-2006 01:11 PM

Remember the Fen of Serech.....
grrrrr.

Kuruharan 02-23-2006 02:05 PM

Quote:

I think that hiding away his city was a natural reaction to the threat his people faced, but in doing so he effectively condemned said people to a life (and an endless life, at that) in a prison. Gondolin, the Gated Community of Arda.
That is a matter of perspective dependant on the perspective of those supposedly imprisoned. What is freedom?

Quote:

Following this logic, it was actually a good thing that Gondolin fell, since all those "prisoners" who could escape alive would be free
Apparently it is being a bunch of refugees barely clinging to a rather unpleasant coastline. And escaping alive was a real trick wasn't it? ;)

Quote:

Remember the Fen of Serech
Huor and Hurin wanted that.

drigel 02-23-2006 03:01 PM

It's interesting to note, not that he wasnt picked as a favorite, but how many anti-Turgons there are out there. Cool to see different takes on the same reading. But yikes - dont hate the player, hate the game.

The puzzlement I have is how people like Fingon, but hate Turgon..?? To me, Turgon's (like the rest of the Exiles) story is a study of the Doom, but with a refreshingly different twist than his sires and counterparts. Its an alternate strategy, but a strategy that one could possibly say was "meant", or absolutely fated to be none other than the way it was. The aid and relationship of Ulmo, Osse, and eagles throughout the years tells me he took a path through the Doom that was the most congruent (for lack of better words) with the higher powers than any of the other Cursed.

Quote:

That is a matter of perspective dependant on the perspective of those supposedly imprisoned.
kuzzactly. There are those who like to roam, then there are those who dont.

OK I'll stop, because I either sound like an apologist for T, or I need to start a Turgon appreciation society.

edit: my favorite quote about T.:
Quote:

Now the thought of Morgoth dwelt ever upon Turgon; for Turgon had escaped him, of all his foes that one whom he most desired to take or to destroy. And that thought troubled him, and marred his victory, for Turgon of the mighty house of Fingolfin was now by right King of all the Noldor; and Morgoth feared and hated the house of Fingolfin, because they had the friendship of Ulmo his foe, and because of the wounds that Fingolfin gave him with his sword. And most of all his kin Morgoth feared Turgon; for of old in Valinor his eye had lighted upon him, and whenever he drew near a shadow had fallen on his spirit, foreboding that in some time that yet lay hidden, from Turgon ruin should come to him.
a pain in his foot and a weight on his mind... #1 and #2 :)

Formendacil 02-23-2006 03:25 PM

Good heavens!! Finrod? Maedhros?

The poll is about High Kings of the Noldor, not just plain old kings. Why do you go advocating Thingol or Dior? After all, if one can disregard the High part of the poll why not disregard the Noldor part? Or, for that matter, why limit it to Kings at all? Why not just go with favourite Middle-Earthian character? Or favourite fictional character? Or favourite person real or feigned?

Seriously, the way people around here are unable to vote within the confines of any poll presented irks me... If Fordim had wanted his silly poll to be about Noldorin kings in general, he would have made it about that, but he didn't.

Excuse the irateness... I'm very irked.

P.S. As the poll will show, I've voted Gil-Galad.

Raynor 02-23-2006 03:35 PM

Quote:

Turgon seems to have the attitude of the 'conqueror', and once settled in his new land, he becomes insular.
Then again, the valar should be quite sympathetic of his decision, seeing how far they went in isolating their own island from the threat of Melkor. [In Myths Transformed, Tolkien does qualify this "rival possessiveness" as an effect of the shadow on the valar.]

Lalaith 02-23-2006 05:49 PM

The insularity, the isolationism I can overlook. It's the brazen, arrogant ingratitude that sticks in my craw.

Lalwendë 02-23-2006 05:53 PM

Now I did not say I hated Turgon, but I do find him to be a questionable leader. ;)

Before he becomes High King of the Noldor it is his perogative if he wishes to hide himself away, but afterwards it might be wrong to do such a thing; leaders need to be accessible to those whom they lead. Comparing this style of leadership with that of another, imagine if Aragorn decided to lock himself up in a tower and not actually get out there and lead the people? His active leadership was a major influence on his acceptance by the people. As seen with the reaction of Eol, I can well imagine that Turgon might have encountered difficulty in fostering allegiance from all the Elves.

And was it right for him to be isolationist when his kin were engaged in the struggle against Morgoth?

Aredhel demonstrates how even living in a perfect, beautiful and safe environment can be a confinement worse than being locked in a jail cell; she chooses adventure and danger over this paradise-prison. I often wonder if she actually allows Eol to woo her as he represents a 'free' Elf, someone who is quite definitely not under the control of her brother! An act of rebellion? Was she trying to state her new found independence?

And the strange thing is that she chooses Eol who then himself seeks to confine her. Sometimes those who have been in prison for a long time become 'institutionalised' and cannot fully cope with new found freedom. I think in seeking to confine his people in the way that he did, Turgon did them a disservice in the long run.

Kuruharan 02-24-2006 01:46 AM

Quote:

It's the brazen, arrogant ingratitude that sticks in my craw.
I beg your pardon. Ingratitude for what?

And why do you have such a high opinion of Finrod and a low opinion of Turgon when the policies they set for their kingdoms were exactly the same? I detect a double-standard here.

Quote:

Comparing this style of leadership with that of another, imagine if Aragorn decided to lock himself up in a tower and not actually get out there and lead the people? His active leadership was a major influence on his acceptance by the people.
The situations were hardly similar. Aragorn was trying to be made a king. Turgon was already a king. When he became High King (which I don't think really rose to the level of a "ceremonial" role) he "ruled" (much too strong a word) over a shattered people who had no further capacity for effective action. In a way, he was showing the example to the Noldor that their only hope lay in staying in the tall grass.

Quote:

And was it right for him to be isolationist when his kin were engaged in the struggle against Morgoth?
For before he became High King: see above note regarding comparison to Finrod.

For after he became High King: What kin? What struggle? When he became High King, the sons of Feanor were broken nomads who could do nothing. Nargothrond was following exactly the same policy as Gondolin until the unstable Turin convinced the dimwit Orodreth to forsake it. Then Nargothrond was broken. Who or what was left? (And don't go mentioning Doriath, Thingol would have passed out at the prospect of calling Turgon "kin.")

In fact, Turgon attempted to engage in the only sensible action to save his people. Try to get to the Valar and abjectly beg forgiveness.

Quote:

Aredhel demonstrates how even living in a perfect, beautiful and safe environment can be a confinement worse than being locked in a jail cell; she chooses adventure and danger over this paradise-prison.
It demonstrates that Aredhel was a spoiled brat. The Noldor were not in Middle-earth to have a jolly good time. There is a quote from an orc that might have done Aredhel a world of good, "Don't you know we're at war?" The Noldor were at war faced with an enemy far beyond their strength. The only thing they could do was make the best of their dire situation. Aredhel, in her empty-headed silliness, willfully disregarded this part of her brother's role and selfishly demanded her own way and the ultimate result was complete disaster. I'm often inclined to think that Maeglin's naughtiness was more a result of his mother's nature than his father's.

Quote:

Was she trying to state her new found independence?
She had the opportunity to state her "independence" when she decided to join the rebellion. That was when she chose "freedom" from the Valar. However, freedom from the Valar meant subugation to her brother who was trying to protect her as well as the thousands of others who followed him. This she also must have chosen for herself, it is not like she did not have a father or other brother (both of whom were also kings) who did not lay down such strictures about freedom of movement (which as far as I can tell is all you mean by "freedom.") I don’t think Aredhel ever understood there were other people in the world than herself and other needs greater than her narrow wants.

Quote:

Turgon did them a disservice in the long run.
He did them a gross disservice by taking part in leading them to Middle-earth at all. After this, he did the best he could (under the advice of no less than Ulmo). I'm afraid Aredhel is not compelling evidence that Turgon did not do well by his people.

Nilpaurion Felagund 02-24-2006 03:58 AM

Formendaga:
 
Quote:

Seriously, the way people around here are unable to vote within the confines of any poll presented irks me... If Fordim had wanted his silly poll to be about Noldorin kings in general, he would have made it about that, but he didn't. (Form)
Live with it. :p

I still think Finrod is the greatest--at least in his generation group. It's just that silly succession law that prevented him from claiming the throne.

Lalaith 02-24-2006 04:10 AM

For what you ask? Kuru, you *have* forgotten the Fen of Serech, haven't you?

The men of Dor-lomin sacrifice themselves so that Turgon and his boys can sneak back to their sodding hidden city. Hurin is captured after performing feats of arms and courage unmatched by any elf or man on Middle Earth before or since. For this deed, and for facilitating Turgon's escape, he and his kin are tortured for years by Morgoth. On release, he asks the elf for whom he offered up this incredible sacrifice, for refuge. Turgon refuses.

If that isn't ingratitude then I would like you to tell me what is.

Numenorean 02-24-2006 06:28 AM

Upon first reading the above list of Kings I really had no idea which way to vote, but after reading the other posts and pondering some sections of the Silmarillion, I’m going for that eternal crowd pleaser …Turgon. I think I would struggle to defend the reputation of this much-maligned Elf better than Kuru already has. I would only add that given the ever darkening situation in Beleriand I never thought his actions were anything other than understandable.

In (attempted) defence of what Lalaith has claimed to be Turgons ingratitude with regards to the way he treated Húrin after his ‘release’ from Morgoth, Turgon was faced with an incredible dilemma:
His friend and ally Húrin had been imprisoned and placed directly under Morgoths dark power for 28 years, when he suddenly appeared in the vicinity of Gondolins secret old Way of Escape, shouting and cursing with the creatures of Morgoth watching on. Now given Turgons first hand experience and knowledge of Morgoths unquenchable capacity for evil, he rightly suspected the Bauglirs will behind Húrins reappearance, and acted as a ruler should - by placing the welfare and security of his people before that of his old friend. However, even with his great responsibilities as High King, he could not abide by his own – and arguably correct - decision and outright abandon their friendship, as we see in the Silm. that:
Quote:

Turgon sat long in thought, and was troubled, remembering the deeds of Húrin of Dor-lómin; and he opened his heart, and sent to the eagles to seek for Húrin, and to bring him if they might to Gondolin. But it was too late.

Lalwendë 02-24-2006 07:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kuruharan
It demonstrates that Aredhel was a spoiled brat. The Noldor were not in Middle-earth to have a jolly good time. There is a quote from an orc that might have done Aredhel a world of good, "Don't you know we're at war?" The Noldor were at war faced with an enemy far beyond their strength. The only thing they could do was make the best of their dire situation. Aredhel, in her empty-headed silliness, willfully disregarded this part of her brother's role and selfishly demanded her own way and the ultimate result was complete disaster. I'm often inclined to think that Maeglin's naughtiness was more a result of his mother's nature than his father's.

I always wonder why, if the Noldor are there to make war, Turgon decides instead to hide. Yes, they may stand a good chance of survival, but when they finally leave their secret hideaway what will they find? It makes me think of those who believed a personal nuclear bunker would help them survive a holocaust - it might well do that but what would they be faced with when they finally emerged? I think Turgon realised too late after bringing his people (and Gondolin was not populated entirely by 'his' people) from Aman that he had brought them into danger so he decided to lock them into Gondolin.

I also don't think Aredhel was empty-headed or silly. Like a lot of women she naturally reacted against the 'protection' that was in fact a restriction. And it was not just Aredhel who Turgon displayed arrogance towards, he was also like this with Eol.

Quote:

Turgon sat long in thought, and was troubled, remembering the deeds of Húrin of Dor-lómin; and he opened his heart, and sent to the eagles to seek for Húrin, and to bring him if they might to Gondolin. But it was too late.
Hmm, Turgon, a bit like the guy who sees someone being beaten up but has his best clothes on, so instead he rings the police when he gets home. Not quite doing the right thing.

I have to say, in the Silmarillion, Tolkien lays out all these tales and leaves us to judge whether the characters were right or wrong; such distinctions can be more clear cut in LotR than in the Sil. Is this due to the style? Or is it that LotR goes into more narrative detail so we have more chance to learn motives etc? Thinking about Denethor, we are able to see why he acts as he does in LotR as we learn a lot of detail about him, but we do not have the same level (or is it style?) of information for Turgon. Hmm...

Lalaith 02-24-2006 08:08 AM

Exactly, Lalwende. If Turgon just wanted to live in a safe, pretty white city, why didn't he stay in Tirion? Middle-Earth was obviously a bit rougher than he expected.
The only thing I can think of in his defence is that the loss of his wife knocked the gumption out of him.

drigel 02-24-2006 08:26 AM

great points all. I love this blog.

Quote:

It's the brazen, arrogant ingratitude that sticks in my craw.
It was a strategy that needed dicipline, that's all. IMO Turgon, of all the Kings, came to the realization early (before his inheritance of the thrown) that success would only come from the West, and not from the swords of the Noldor. Different strategy, as in not running around with all that overt hacking and slashing.

Quote:

imagine if Aragorn decided to lock himself up in a tower and not actually get out there and lead the people?
Imagine if Aragorn was in semi regular conversations with a Vala who offered advice...

Quote:

As seen with the reaction of Eol, I can well imagine that Turgon might have encountered difficulty in fostering allegiance from all the Elves.
I wouldnt go that far with that conclusion. It was his sister, after all. Those are some great insights into the psychology of Adredhel, though Lal! Thank you for helping me walk a few steps in her evlish sandles!

Quote:

And why do you have such a high opinion of Finrod and a low opinion of Turgon when the policies they set for their kingdoms were exactly the same? I detect a double-standard here.
The only difference there that I would bring up being that Finrod's kingdom was hidden, and Turgon's (until the last) was inviolate. Only Melian had success at this. If only Finrod had some of Turgon's haughty snobbery, his kingdom would have lasted longer....

Quote:

Turgon, a bit like the guy who sees someone being beaten up but has his best clothes on, so instead he rings the police when he gets home. Not quite doing the right thing.
To me he did what needed to be done, especially towards the end. After all, his deeds ultimately and finally led to what Mithalwen succintly said: The salvation of all the children of Ea. King indeed.

Anguirel 02-24-2006 09:03 AM

First, I want to attempt an answer to the interesting question Lalwende raised.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lalwende
I have to say, in the Silmarillion, Tolkien lays out all these tales and leaves us to judge whether the characters were right or wrong; such distinctions can be more clear cut in LotR than in the Sil. Is this due to the style? Or is it that LotR goes into more narrative detail so we have more chance to learn motives etc?

This is part of the reason why I love the Silmarillion above everything else in Tolkien. The process of reading it is like studying mediaeval history-and I mean that entirely as a compliment. We're shown this dramatic, highly coloured, tragic and beautiful world; but we're shown it almost without sources. So in the end our personal taste is decisive and not bound by any conventions. So, at the risk of sounding awfully pious, everyone is right in, for example, this Turgon debate.

As for my own views...I never really admired any of the heroes bound up with the general "let's go and beg to the Valar" approach. Earendil never got near Maedhros in my view for instance. I suppose the words of Feanor held an enduring grasp on my mind.

When I read the Silmarillion, I sided, quite naturally, as I did with the Orkneys in Malory, with the Sons of Feanor. They seemed to me quite the obvious heroes at first. The clear quest to avenge their grandfather and father and regain the jewels, whatever the cost...I supported it utterly. Even in the later Kinslayings, I thought to myself "Idiots! Why don't you give them the gem? It belongs to them!" This seemed to me the obvious, clear approach.

Imagine my surprise when a friend I'd recommended the book to remarked "These Sons of Feanor! They should forget about the jewels and get a grip!" Another slant, and one that might be thought rather more usual...! But it took me a while to sympathise with it.

A final point, to Formendacil, and to Fordim I suppose-Maedhros was, if briefly, High King of the Noldor between his father's death and his renunciation of the crown. You could even make a case (one much beloved by fanfic writers) that Maglor was acting High King during Maedhros' captivity...

alatar 02-24-2006 09:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lalaith
Exactly, Lalwende. If Turgon just wanted to live in a safe, pretty white city, why didn't he stay in Tirion? Middle-Earth was obviously a bit rougher than he expected.

Or did he simple not want to play the game of the long defeat, and so instead of throwing lives away that, even if they gave victory in battle, would just be a drop in the blood bucket in the seemingly endless war that was doomed from the beginning to be lost.

And in regards to Húrin Thalion, did he not choose to stand as the rear guard so that Turgon could escape? Does one give a gift then ask to be paid for it? If so, then it is not a gift but a deal, a contract, a business transaction, and so all the less praiseworthy. Surely Húrin's decision to stay behind cost him and his kin dearly, and Turgon is forever is his debt, but this doesn't mean that Turgon is liable to repay anything, and definitely not at the price of Gondolin.

Húrin's mind was tainted by Morgoth, and so his actions after his captivity aren't that of a hero, but of a sad broken man, but what else could he do?


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