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Old 03-25-2001, 02:01 PM   #11
Tar Elenion
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Re: the debate turns canonical

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Quothe Aiwendil:
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Quote: [Lindil writes] &lt;&lt;At first blush I found this unmanagable but after Elenion clarified the point and I can see that the 2 situations may well be reconciled by the fact that Fingolfin promised to follow in the context of Finwe being alive. [ Feanor nontheless felt betrayedI am sure though much of Fingolfin's motivation was prob. that his people made it clear they felt Feanor was prob. to ubstable to rule the Noldor] .&gt;&gt;
Aiwendil responds:
But there is no indication in the Q.S. of such a context. Fingolfin is declaring his loyalty not to Finwe but to Feanor: &quot;You shall lead and I shall follow.&quot; To take this and construct a way to include both it and the debate from the Shibboleth is to change the meaning of Tolkien's words.
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Quothe lindil:
I will hope Tar- Elenion can answer for his concept [Maintaining both Fingolfin reconciling -which I do agree is a major peice of the storyline - and Fingolfin's pursuit of the Kingship of the noldor ] which Aiwendil debates as I may have misconstrued a point and he will certainly answer for it better than I .
I would only add that we don't know how JRRT was conceiving the 2 situations in his mind. Wether he had stumbled upon Elenion's idea or wether he forgot. Maybe a letter to CRT?
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I see no serious problems. Fingolfin said 'Thou shalt lead and I will follow' before Finwe was dead, and before Feanor claimed the kingship. In context Fingolfin's statement has nothing to do with Feanor's 'kingship' (or lack thereof). Neither of them knew that Finwe would die (or expected him to). One of the reasons that there was such dissention over the inheritance of the Kingship is that the Kingship of the Noldor had not passed before (excepting that when Finwe held himself 'unkinged' Fingolfin took up the rule, not necesarily kingship, of the Noldor), and there seemingly were no clear rules of inheritance. While I think Feanor certainly had 'better claim' to the Kingship that was Finwe's, being the eldest of the House, it was his own actions that impaired his rights and position. It is simply fact that Feanor's claims were not accepted by the most part of the Noldor. During Feanor's banishment and Finwe's self imposed exile the actual rule of the Noldor (if not the titular Kingship) had already passed. Feanor's own presumptive actions after the death of Finwe (as well as those before) cost him his chance to actually become King, and Fingolfin's position could not be supplanted (though of course he did not become King in name until after the death of Feanor).

This is what is said regarding the 'you will lead'
It is noted in HoME 10, LQ1, ~73: &quot;'The greater part marched behind Fingolfin, who with his sons yielded to the general voice against their wisdom, because they would not desert their people' my father noted on a copy of LQ 2: 'also because of the promise made by Fingolfin above)'. This refers to a passage in the final rewriting of the previous chapter (p. 287, ~58c), where Fingolfin said to Feanor before Manwe 'Thou shalt lead and I will follow.'&quot;

Here Fingolfin follows Feanor into Exile because of his promise and because he will not desert his people (who do not renounce his rule). Again the context is clear from authorial notes in the corpus. Fingolfin keeps his 'word' ('they were reconciled in word') by following Feanor into Exile. But note that even at this point Feanor is not recognized as King. The just prior sentences note that the most part of the Noldor refuse to accept Feanor as king and do not renounce the rule of Fingolfin. What is important note here is that Fingolfin accepts this while still keeping his word and following the lead of Feanor.

This is in fact commented on in the Shibboleth: &quot;(after Morgoth contrived the death of Finwe) Feanor was deprived of the leadership, and the greater part of the Noldor who forsook Valinor marched under the command of Fingolfin... and in the end in spite of the enimty between him and Feanor he joined with full will in the rebellion and the exile, though he continued to claim the kingship of all the Noldor.&quot;

Compare with the MR passages:
&quot;By no means were all of a mind to take Feanor as king... and the most part of the Dwellers in Tirion refused to renounce him [Fingolfin], if he would go with them&quot;, Annals of Aman.
and:
&quot;The greater part marched behind Fingolfin, who with his sons yielded to the general voice against their wisdom, because they would not desert their people&quot;, LQ.

In both MR and the Shibboleth the greater part of the Noldor, accept the rule of Fingolfin and do not accept Feanor's claims. Note that the Shibboleth has that Fingolfin joined with 'full will' though MR has him yeilding against his wisdom. However this is not a contradiction. 'In the end' he joins with 'full will'. That is though first speaking against Feanor (and note even here so much for 'you will lead', and showing the enimity spoken of in Shibboleth) only when it becomes clear what his people want does he goes along with it. Also note that the Shibboleth has Fingolfin claiming the Kingship. It is true that The Silmarillion does not speak of this claim. But it does not deny it. And note that though Fingolfin spoke against Feanor, he went with the Noldor who would not renounce him 'if he would go with them'. This seems to me that by accepting the decision of the people (he does not renounce them, he does not say 'Feanor is king', he goes with them and they 'the greater host come behind under Fingolfin'.

'Thou shalt lead and I will follow', when examined in full context it is shown that Fingolfin was not swearing loyalty to Feanor (or perhaps rather promising to accept the kingship of Feanor). If he was swearing loyalty (or rather to accept Feanor as King, though there was no plausable reason for this) he was not very good at keeping his word. In any event JRRT seemed to imply that by simply following Feanor into Exile ('also because of the promise made'), Fingolfin was keeping his word.
Feanor and Fingolfin were reconciled in _word_, not in deed.




Tar-Elenion--------------------- I will come with Fire and Sword, and put cities to the Torch, your men to the Blade, your women and children in Chains</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000211>Tar Elenion</A> at: 3/25/01 6:05:46 pm
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