View Single Post
Old 05-30-2002, 04:39 PM   #15
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
Child of the 7th Age's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 5,135
Child of the 7th Age is a guest of Tom Bombadil.

Lindil --

Thank you for your confirmation of the change in Galadriel as recorded by Tolkien in UT. After I read the article, I went back and looked at Unfinished Tales, the chapter on Galadriel and Celeborn. I've always felt she was a compelling figure, her ability to read minds (apparently including that of Sauron) and her gifts to the Fellowship (Lembas, the phial, etc.)

But I hadn't realized what an active role she had taken. UT seems to have a much more complete account of what Galadriel did to oppose the Shadow and reach out to different communities, at least in the earlier years of the third age (and the second, I believe).

Also, I'm reading Morgoth's Ring now and I came to Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth. I was really astonished by it. In some ways, this seems to be the most explictly Christian or Catholic or spiritual statement about Middle-earth that I have yet seen. It apparently was written in 1959. Certainly the conjecture about Eru coming into Arda to heal it is something I've never read in those books which are considered "canon".

It must be very dificult to decide what to do with pieces like these. Tolkien must have written them thinking that they would go into a revised Silm. Emotionally, I want them to be part of the book; it's as if he is saying things that I sensed might be there all along (perhaps wanted to be there?), but finally he got around to writing it out in concrete terms. I don't know if this makes any sense, but I'm really struck by his choice of language in this essay.

I'm also struck by the image of the wise woman Andreth. I had always felt that LotR would have benefitted from a human wise woman, especially as I've gotten old enough to fall into that category myself! All the significant women in LotR are of child-bearing age. So seeing her in this essay and hearing her earlier poignant history regarding the Elves is a treat.

Littlemanpoet -- The above ties in with your question to me. I had awkwardly put the question whether the Christianizing of the LotR was an accurate reflection of his process of writing, or whether it came up later in his mind because he "wanted it to be so."

LOL, Good for you. You always get me when I use imprecise language, and I use imprecise language because I'm groping around to come up with an idea.

What I really meant was this. After Tolkien wrote the LotR, completely finished it, he came forward with some things which appear to be much more explicitly Christian/Catholic than anything he'd said before. Two of these are listed above: the portrayal of Galadriel in UT written right before he died, and, in Morgoth's Ring, the essay referred to above(1959) which has some amazing things to say about Eru coming in to the world to heal it and what happens to men and Elves after death and at the end of Time. I'd put one other piece of writing in this category---Tolkien's notes in the Swan music book The Road Goes Ever On (1968). Again, this is seemingly more "religious", referring to some pieces and invocations as hymns and prayers (earlier in the Letters he'd clearly stated these weren't hymns or prayers), portraying how Varda stands on high and looks out over the world to view the affairs of Elves and Men, and a statement at the end of Elbereth's farewell to the Fellowship that the line "Come to Valinor" was explicitly addressed to Frodo. There may well be others in HoMe.

It's as if, after publishing the book,he wanted to make more explicit what had before been only foreshadowed. I didn't mean he'd tried to deceive us or himself, but he does seem to be inching towards a lot of proposed changes,

sharon, the 7th age hobbit
Multitasking women are never too busy to vote.
Child of the 7th Age is offline