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Old 05-01-2007, 10:10 PM   #33
The Kinslayer
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White Tree

Would J.R.R. Tolkien have allowed such a work as CoH to be published as Christopher did? Or would JRRT have revised it so as to weave in a glimmer of hope? Who knows?
And of course, Tolkien wrote the Narn as we have it after completing LotR, so in terms of composition we are also dealing with a post-'religious' work. Tolkien tells the story of a great victory (LotR) first, & follows it up with a tale of despair & defeat without hope.
I'm in total disagreement with this. I don't think that there is a story in all of Tolkien's Legendarium that has more hope in it than the Narn i Chîn Húrin. Let's see:

From Unfinished Tales: Narn i Chîn Húrin
"You say it," said Morgoth. "I am the Elder King: Melkor, first and mightiest of all the Valar, who was before the world, and made it. The shadow of my purpose lies upon Arda, and all that is in it bends slowly and surely to my will. But upon all whom you love my thought shall weigh as a cloud of Doom, and it shall bring them down into darkness and despair. Wherever they go, evil shall arise. Whenever they speak, their words shall bring ill counsel. Whatsoever they do shall turn against them. They shall die without hope, cursing both life and death."
Can Morgoth actually do this to a person in particular that is not in his grasp? No he cannot. Does it help that Morgoth is really against you? It really hinders the person though.
From Morgoth's Ring: Ainulindalë
But to Men I will give a new gift.'
§39 Therefore he willed that the hearts of Men should seek beyond the world and find no rest therein; but they should have a virtue to fashion their life, amid the powers and chances of the world, beyond the Music of the Ainur, which is as fate to all things else. And of their operation everything should be, in shape and deed, completed, and the world fulfilled unto the last and smallest. Lo! even we, Elves, have found to our sorrow that Men have a strange power for good or ill, and for turning things aside from the purpose of Valar or of Elves; so that it is said among us that Fate is not master of the children of Men; yet are they blind, and their joy is small, which should be great.
In Arda, it is almost dominated by Morgoth, after the defeat of the Ñoldor in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. You have Doriath that is isolated from the rest of ME, Gondolin which is hidden and Nargothrond, there are other minor elven enclaves and some scatter Men. Túrin was sent by Morwen to Doriath to have a better future, but she remains in Dor-Lomín with Nienor.
Túrin grows and becomes a great warrior, but because of the incident with Saeros (he has a new name now in the CoH) instead of relying in the judgement of his foster father Thingol he leaves, never to return again. Did Morgoth make him do this? No.
Túrin with the outlaws, was given an opportunity by Beleg to return to Doriath, but Túrin refuses. Was that Morgoth's doing? No.
Túrin kills Beleg when he is rescued. That was a big boo boo by him, and he goes to Nargothrond. Does Túrin forces Orodreth into open warfare with Morgoth? No, Orodreth had his own mind, but he was swayed by Túrin. Nargothrond is destroyed, but he is spared.
Nargothrond could not beat the armies of Morgoth, if they had decided to keep hiding, they would have fallen sooner or later.
Glaurung bewitches Túrin into leaving Findulias, leading to the events of going into Brethil and marrying his sister. But he ultimately kills Glaurung, but the thing is that his sister kills herself. Then he learns the truth about Nienor and kills himself.

And yet, even with all this, his mother (Morwen never looses hope).
From Morgoth's Ring: Athrabeth Finrod an Andreth
'Have ye then no hope?' said Finrod.
'What is hope?' she said. 'An expectation of good, which though uncertain has some foundation in what is known? Then we have none.'
'That is one thing that Men call "hope",' said Finrod. 'Amdir we call it, "looking up". But there is another which is founded deeper. Estel we call it, that is "trust". It is not defeated by the ways of the world, for it does not come from experience, but from our nature and first being. If we are indeed the Eruhin, the Children of the One, then He will not suffer Himself to be deprived of His own, not by any Enemy, not even by ourselves. This is the last foundation of Estel, which we keep even when we contemplate the End: of all His designs the issue must be for His Children's joy.
Morwen, was alone. Her 3 children were dead, and her husband was imprisioned in Angband with no hope of ever escaping, and yet she never lost hope that Húrin would return.
From Unfinished Tales: Narn i Chîn Húrin
"Prudence, not doubt," said Húrin; yet he looked troubled. "But one who looks forward must see this: that things will not remain as they were. This will be a great throw, and one side must fall lower than it now stands. If it be the Elven-kings that fall, then it must go evilly with the Edain; and we dwell nearest to the Enemy. But if things do go ill, I will not say to you: Do not be afraid! For you fear what should be feared, and that only; and fear does not dismay you. But I say: Do not wait! I shall return to you as I may, but do not wait! Go south as swiftly as you can; and I shall follow, and I shall find you, though I have to search through all Beleriand."
Why did she had still estel?
From the War of the Jewels: The Wanderins of Húrin
But Húrin did not look at the stone, for he knew what was written there, and, his eyes had seen that he was not alone. Sitting in the shadow of the stone there was a figure bent over its knees Some homeless wanderer broken with age it seemed, too wayworn to heed his coming; but its rags were the remnants of a woman's garb. At length as Húrin stood there silent she cast back her tattered hood and lifted up her face slowly, haggard and hungry as a long-hunted wolf. Grey she was, sharp-nosed with broken teeth, and with a lean hand she clawed at the cloak upon her breast. But suddenly her eyes looked into his, and then Húrin knew her; for though they were wild now and full of fear, a light still gleamed in them hard to endure: the elven-light that long ago had earned her her name, Eðelwen, proudest of mortal women in the days of old.
'Eðelwen! Eðelwen!' Húrin cried; and she rose and stumbled forward, and he caught her in his arms.
'You come at last,' she said. 'I have waited too long.
'It was a dark road. I have come as I could,' he answered.
'But you are late,' she said, 'too late. They are lost.'
'I know,' he said. 'But thou art not.'
'Almost,' she said. 'I am spent utterly. I shall go with the sun. They are lost.' She clutched at his cloak. 'Little time is left,' she said. 'If you know, tell me! How did she find him?'
But Húrin did not answer, and he sat beside the stone with Morwen in his arms; and they did not speak again. The sun went down, and Morwen sighed and clasped his hand and was still; and Húrin knew that she had died.
So passed Morwen the proud and fair; and Húrin looked down at her in the twilight, and it seemed that the lines of grief and cruel hardship were smoothed away. Cold and pale and stem was her face. 'She was not conquered,' he said; and he closed her eyes, and sat on unmoving beside her as night drew down.
It doesn't makes any sense, yet with all of that had happened to her and her family she never lost hope.

What the reader is given is not the whole story of Turin, but a version of the story, or if you will an 'episode'. But Tolkien chose to tell the story as he did, & it is a story of hopelessness, despair, & tragedy. It didn't have to be. He could have added the tale of Turin facing down & destroying Morgoth if he'd wanted to. Yet....
But that is exactly what happened:
From The Lost Road and other Writtings: Quenta Silmarillion
§31 Thus spake Mandos in prophecy, when the Gods sat in judgement in Valinor, and the rumour of his words was whispered among all the Elves of the West. When the world is old and the Powers grow weary, then Morgoth, seeing that the guard sleepeth, shall come back through the Door of Night out of the Timeless Void; and he shall destroy the Sun and Moon. But Eärendel shall descend upon him as a white and searing flame and drive him from the airs. Then shall the Last Battle be gathered on the fields of Valinor. In that day Tulkas shall strive with Morgoth, and on his right hand shall be Fionwë, and on his left Túrin Turambar, son of Húrin, coming from the halls of Mandos; and the black sword of Túrin shall deal unto Morgoth his death and final end; and so shall the children of Húrin and all Men be avenged.
Or course, the Narn i Chîn Húrin, ends with the dead of Túrin and not with the fate of Morwen.
"Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy."
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