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Old 03-26-2003, 05:15 PM   #4
Late Istar
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,141
Aiwendil has been trapped in the Barrow!

There are two issues here:

1. Does the change in role of Eonwe from the son of Manwe to his herald require some further explanation or justification for his role in the War of Wrath?

2. Is the inserted phrase necessary for purely intra-textual reasons within the Valaquenta.

My responses (to my own questions):

1. It is possible that the change Fionwe > Eonwe would have corresponded to a change in the character's role in the War of Wrath, had Tolkien ever rewritten that section. I see no reason, however, to think that this would necessarily be so. Eonwe seems to me to be perfectly adequate in the role previously given to Fionwe. See, for example, one of the Istari notes in UT where it is said that "To the overthrow of Morgoth he [Manwe] sent his herald Eonwe." So Fionwe's role, at least in the broadest terms, was retained as Eonwe's.

But even if there were a problem with Eonwe's role in the Great Battle, surely a single phrase inserted into the Valaquenta would not fix it. And if it is to be addressed in some broader way in "Of the Voyage of Earendil and the War of Wrath", then the attempted fix in the Valaquenta becomes wholly unnecessary.

2. If there is any justification (that is, need) for the phrase, it must be simply for reasons of balance and phrasing. But this was certainly not Christopher's motivation (see his comment on the phrase in HoMe X). And, perhaps more importantly, as JRRT first wrote the original text ("Of the Valar" in LQ1), the character had already become Eonwe, and there is no corresponding phrase present.

Thus, the addition of the phrase by us could have only two possible motivations: 1. To attempt to "fix" a perceived problem with the War of Wrath or 2. To "improve" JRRT's prose.

The latter is obviously absurd and the first, as I hope I've shown, is either insufficient or unnecessary. So I say: remove the phrase.
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