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Old 02-24-2006, 05:51 PM   #62
A Mere Boggart
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Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Originally Posted by davem
Turgon is a 'nasty dictator' when he strives to keep her in Gondolin (even though it is for her own safety & the protection of the inhabitants of the city) but suddenly becomes a 'protector & safe haven' when she gets herself into a mess.
indeed, this is how Aredhel might view things, as one who has become unable to fucntion independently. Neither Turgon nor Aredhel are 'right', what she did and what she felt are simply an inevitability of keeping people confined.

Originally Posted by davem
Turgon is a hero who makes an error of judgement in not listening to the words of Ulmo brought by Tuor. Apart from that one fall from perfection he is wise, compassionate & plays his part in the war against Morgoth. He 'fights the Long Defeat with all the heroism we could expect from a King of the Noldor.

We cannot judge him a 'dictator' as he was living & ruling 'in extremis', if I can put it that way. His decisions were made for the best in very difficult circumstances. I cannot see him behaving in such a way in peacetime. This was not a 'fake' or 'cold' war, but a very real one, where one false move could have brought disaster on his realm & people.
He is anything but a hero. And he is not wise. His biggest error was to attempt to keep Gondolin a hidden city, though again, it was inevitable that one of the Noldor would try this method. Another society which has become more and more excluded from the rest of the world is Gondor, which has entered a state of stasis by the time of the War of the Ring, become suspicious and inward looking. Likewise, another leader who is operating in 'extremis' is Denethor. We could indeed say that his decisions are taken for the 'best', and if Tolkien had not shown us otherwise (in contrast to how the Sil is written, which is quite 'blank' in didactic terms, in contrast to LotR) then we might also sometimes think Denethor was a 'hero' for 'doing his best'. Being 'in extremis' is no excuse.

Again let me reiterate that I do not think Turgon was evil and Aredhel was right. I do think that Turgon made a terrible decision in attempting to hide Gondolin, and it had disastorus consequences which were inevitable.

To protect such a city would require, at times, quite desperate measures. As shown in what has to be done when Eol turns up and quite violently displays his feelings towards Turgon! This event sees Turgon turn to brutal actions, to slaying a fellow Elf. It also leads Turgon to betraying Hurin, all in the attempt to try and save Gondolin.

What I see the whole situation as, is a simple tragedy. One misguided ruler, and a lot of people who suffer because of his misguided attempts to 'protect' them, and all the more tragic because it was all necessary for other later events to take place, which would be events to turn the tide.
Gordon's alive!
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