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Old 11-12-2011, 10:33 AM   #1
Galadriel
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How did Maedhros stay alive?

Assuming that Morgoth both tortured and starved Maedhros (why wouldn't he?), and then hung him on the Thangorodrim for years upon years, how on earth did Maedhros stay alive? I know Elves' bodies are stronger and more resilient than humans', but Maedhros must have been ridiculously (and impossibly) strong to have survived all that.

Thoughts?
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:38 AM   #2
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Wait...... it was years? I always assumed it was less than a year.... Gotta reread my Sil.

Elves do seem to be able to survive without food for years though, since Thingol did the same when he met Melian. They were standing unmoving in the glade for years on end, while the Teleri were looking for dear lost Elwe.
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Old 11-12-2011, 11:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
Elves do seem to be able to survive without food for years though, since Thingol did the same when he met Melian. They were standing unmoving in the glade for years on end, while the Teleri were looking for dear lost Elwe.
Yes, but stravation+torture would be a little harder.
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:31 PM   #4
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Yes, but stravation+torture would be a little harder.
Well, Maedhros was a bit more dishevelled than Thingol...
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:02 PM   #5
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Maedros was held captive by the wrist sometime in Valian Year 1498, and was rescued in Sun Year 5. Assuming that VY 1500 represents a full 9.582 Sun Years (currently the topic of my thread on counting the Sun Years), Maedros was captive in this way for roughly 33.5 years on the high end; or 25 years on the lower end -- here using 9.5 to simplify, and for the low end counting only one Solar Year within 1498, which I admit is arbitrary.

Unless my math is wrong, or if we should not count 9.582 Solar Years for VY 1500

According to the Annals (Annals of Aman and Grey Annals) and the Tale of Years, the last Valian Year entry is year 1500, and then we have a new reckoning with Sun Year 1. Anyway, the Eldar normally need to eat so I assume Morgoth gave him just enough, or did something to keep him alive.

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Old 11-12-2011, 01:17 PM   #6
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Anyway, the Eldar normally need to eat so I assume Morgoth gave him just enough, or did something to keep him alive.
Well, Morgoth sure likes slow torture...

I wonder if he also fed Hurin. Even if he did, I doubt Hurin would accept. So how did he stay alive?
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:11 PM   #7
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"A Vala did it..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by G55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galin
Anyway, the Eldar normally need to eat so I assume Morgoth gave him just enough, or did something to keep him alive
Well, Morgoth sure likes slow torture...

I wonder if he also fed Hurin. Even if he did, I doubt Hurin would accept. So how did he stay alive?
Morgoth would surely *like* to prolong his victims' suffering beyond natural limits, if he could... and no doubt he could. These are probably cases where you can more-or-less "handwave" it as "magic".
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:36 PM   #8
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And Morgoth...set his power upon [Hurin], so that he could not move from that place, nor die, until Morgoth should release him.
~The Words of Hurin and Morgoth, COH

This quote supports what Nerwen said. However, even as the greatest Ainu, Morgoth is inferior to Eru, and Eru holds the power to give or take im/mortality. It's not up to Morgoth to decide to make a human immortal until he got what he wants?

Or is it just withholding the death, not making one completely immortal?

I don't get it.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:01 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
~The Words of Hurin and Morgoth, COH

This quote supports what Nerwen said. However, even as the greatest Ainu, Morgoth is inferior to Eru, and Eru holds the power to give or take im/mortality. It's not up to Morgoth to decide to make a human immortal until he got what he wants?

Or is it just withholding the death, not making one completely immortal?

I don't get it.
I've understood that to mean Morgoth basically froze Húrin's body in that particular moment of time, while Húrin's conscious mind remained awake and aware. Morgoth didn't permanently alter Húrin's potential for mortal death, he merely postponed the aging process.

It's not so incredible, really. Sauron accomplished something similar with the Nazgûl, making death unattainable to them while they were under his will. Of course, when Sauron's power was lost upon the destruction of the Ring, his hold over the Ringwraiths was loosened. Had Húrin still been there when Morgoth was defeated in the War of Wrath and forced into the Void, Morgoth's power over Húrin would have dissipated and Húrin freed.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:17 AM   #10
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I've understood that to mean Morgoth basically froze Húrin's body in that particular moment of time, while Húrin's conscious mind remained awake and aware. Morgoth didn't permanently alter Húrin's potential for mortal death, he merely postponed the aging process.
He didn't really postpone it, he just slowed it down, I guess.

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[Hurin's] hair and beard were white and long, but he walked unbowed, bearing a great black staff...
~The Ruin of Doriath, The Sil

The white hair is ok, but if Hurin starved for 28 years, even if Morgoth delayed his death, how did he live after Morgoth released him? How can a Man still be so physically strong after almost three decades of no food? (if it's even possible to live 3 decades without food?)


The Nazgul are different. They are not flesh-and-bone humans. They are indead (or, rather, unliving). They don't need food. I'm sure Sauron fed them well before their rings did their job. In this case Sauron just leves them hanging between the living and the dead, never changing physically (thus remaining in their best years). With Hurin - he seems to still be alive, still age, but react to starvation as an undead.



Edit: To compare Hurin and Maedhros with Gwindor who was Morgoth's slave for a lesser time than Hurin, and yet was aged and broken to the point that even his kin didn't recognise him at first.

Too many questions! :/


Edit2: on the other hand, repeatedly in the legendarium we meet characters that refuse to die from natural deaths because of some fire inside. Could just be a desire to live, or a desire to accomplish something, but it is overpowers death.

So all these cases could be dependant on this.
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Old 11-15-2011, 01:00 PM   #11
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Well, Beleg seemed to be in a pretty miserable state after only a few days of being tied to a tree - and no doubt Beleg matched or even outmatched Maedhros' physical strength. After all, he was not called Cúthalion for nothing.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:10 PM   #12
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But keep in mind that Beleg was a Sinda and had never been to Aman, whereas Maedhros had just returned from the Undying Lands- I think that makes a difference, not necessarily in terms of pure physique, but in terms of the "inner fire" (for lack of a better word).

Connected with this, I think, is another aspect which has been overlooked so far, namely that the Elves are not made (we might say, not designed) to die; they can be killed by irreparable damage to some vital organ, but barring that their fëa will keep the hröa alive in whatever pitiable state even under deprivation and torture, as long as their will is strong enough (which I think we can assume it was in Maedhros' case).
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G55
The white hair is ok, but if Hurin starved for 28 years, even if Morgoth delayed his death, how did he live after Morgoth released him? How can a Man still be so physically strong after almost three decades of no food? (if it's even possible to live 3 decades without food?)
You're assuming, not that Hurin simply *wouldn't* starve (or die from exposure, for that matter), but rather that he *really* would, but the effect would be masked for the duration. I don't think it would have to work that way– that is, like a rubber band that snaps back all the way once released. I mean, there's examples of spells or whatever that do operate like that in various other things, but then– well, it's not like Middle-earth even *has* a formal, codified "magic system". So, who knows?

Quote:
Originally Posted by G55
The Nazgul are different. They are not flesh-and-bone humans. They are indead (or, rather, unliving). They don't need food. I'm sure Sauron fed them well before their rings did their job. In this case Sauron just leves them hanging between the living and the dead, never changing physically (thus remaining in their best years). With Hurin - he seems to still be alive, still age, but react to starvation as an undead.
I don't think Zil was saying it's exactly the same, but just making the point that the Dark Lords of M-e *are* able to prolong life/withhold death.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G55
Edit: To compare Hurin and Maedhros with Gwindor who was Morgoth's slave for a lesser time than Hurin, and yet was aged and broken to the point that even his kin didn't recognise him at first.

Too many questions! :/


Edit2: on the other hand, repeatedly in the legendarium we meet characters that refuse to die from natural deaths because of some fire inside. Could just be a desire to live, or a desire to accomplish something, but it is overpowers death.
That no doubt also plays a part, too– it's probably not just one thing or the other. As for Gwindor– well, he was neither an exceptional individual, nor, as a captive, singled out for any really special treatment by Morgoth– I mean, he was just "Mining Slave #6750". So I don't think his case is all that relevant.
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:18 PM   #14
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Wouldn't it have been funny if Morgoth had succeeded in turning Maedhros into an orc?

What I find intriguing is why he asked Fingon to kill him when he could just have given up on his life himself long before Fingon came.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:45 PM   #15
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What I find intriguing is why he asked Fingon to kill him when he could just have given up on his life himself long before Fingon came.
Maybe he couldn't just die like that. Firstly, he did not lose the desire to live. He only couldn't stand to hang there for more time. Secondly, I believe he only asked Fingon to shoot him when Fingon realised that there's no other way that he could help Maedhros (something thay doubtless Maedhros figured out a long time ago). He only gave up on life when all hope was lost (as he understood it).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerwen
You're assuming, not that Hurin simply *wouldn't* starve (or die from exposure, for that matter), but rather that he *really* would, but the effect would be masked for the duration. I don't think it would have to work that way– that is, like a rubber band that snaps back all the way once released. I mean, there's examples of spells or whatever that do operate like that in various other things, but then– well, it's not like Middle-earth even *has* a formal, codified "magic system". So, who knows?
I must say that I don't really follow you here. Could you clarify please?
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