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Old 04-14-2008, 12:28 PM   #21
Bęthberry
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Join Date: May 2002
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Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
1420! A tuppence

I think I would have to chime in with Legate and say that unfaithfulness to a spouse would not be a realistic attribute for any of the characters in Middle-earth. It simply is not part of Tolkien's range of possibilities. After all, he has the elves marrying for life and seemingly able to have creative control over their sexual drives. And for all the gender distinctions and differences amongst the maiar they seem quite a-sexual. Infidelity is simply not a 'given' in Tolkien's universe.

Yet something sexual is going on in the original verses of ATB, where there does seem to be some sort of primal sexual scene played out. The suggestions of aggression, if not violence, are broadly given--sorry, don't have the books to hand and may come back once I can get at them. First I think it is Goldberry who taunts and attracts Tom and then it is Tom who somehow has to outwit her mother. (Memory maybe be a bit dim here.) There is also a slight suggestion that Tom's eventual taking of Goldberry could possibly not be entirely consensual. It is very different from the domestic scenes in LotR.

It is one thing to say that we should consider Goldberry just as she appears in LotR, but I think to posit parentage from the maia on that without taking any consideration of how she appears in ATB would be niggling a bit much with the Legendarium--niggling by overlooking. One doesn't have to agree with Hardgroves, in the link kindly provided by davem, in order to find his concept of how Tolkien tinkered with anomalies and errors very attractive.

Well, really must dash off now.
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