Thread: Elementals
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Old 01-21-2017, 09:50 PM   #4
Zigūr
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I just can't help but feel, once again, as if trying to "categorise" Bombadil and Goldberry misses the point somewhat; I've always felt like the point was that they can't easily be slotted into a Valar-Maiar-Elves-Men-Dwarves-etc. system. I think it's very possible to argue that there are ambiguous spirits in the texts, but that's the thing – their nature is unclear. They might be spirits, memories, "imprints", all sorts of fantastical things. Trying to pin them down as "elementals" and so on seems a bit too hard-and-fast to me, and seems to want to demolish those "unseen vistas" that are an important part of the text and the thematic content: we're not Eru, and some things in Eä are beyond our understanding or even our possibility of knowing. I'm not saying "don't look for answers"; I'm saying that sometimes answers don't exist and their non-existence is actually part of the argument of the narrative.

On the other hand I think this might be useful for considering influences upon the text and possible avenues of interpretation - the "Tolkien studies" side, rather than the "Middle-earth studies" side, as Michael Drout would put it.
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