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Old 04-09-2007, 10:00 AM   #81
Vala Ulmo
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I found not the Entwives!

In light of this absurd thread, I thought I would post so new and exciting information regarding the Entwives. I have found irrefutable evidence that the Entwives do not exist! That’s 100% correct, to find out exactly where in the LotR this is stated, you need to consider what we know from the FotR and something rather interesting from the TTT. Keep in mind that I have no inclination of revealing any of this information out of fear of being wrong but I am sticking by my guns. So with my clues, happy hunting…







I am new to Tolkien forums and new to Barrowdowns but it’s post like “I found the entwives” that dishonor the community. What a waste.
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:26 AM   #82
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Umm...let's be serious, if such things had been so obvious as many here claim, then this would have been mentioned in many net articles on Entwives.
But it isn't, because it isn't obvious at all.
It might seem obvious to some, but perhaps not to Tolkien.
All in all, I think the quotes from the Letters pretty much sum it all up.
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Old 04-09-2007, 12:54 PM   #83
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but it’s post like “I found the entwives” that dishonor the community.
Thank goodness - I thought it was me......
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:02 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by some noob
I am new to Tolkien forums and new to Barrowdowns but it’s post like “I found the entwives” that dishonor the community.
Considering your self proclaimed lack of Tolkien/Barrow-Downs forum experience, what precisely makes you think that you are in any way qualified to state what honors or dishonors this community? Seeing such a statement in someone's first post ever is one of the most absurd things I've witnessed in a long while.

It is obvious that you do not understand how we are treating this topic- specifically when we are being over the top for entertainment purposes.

Here's a link to the novices and newcomers forum. Why don't you hop over there and start a thread about Balrog wings or something.
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:12 PM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rune
My good phantom, I am sure that you are well read in fantasy and fairytales and surely you must have come across magical items that only show their full potential when really needed to. . .
But the rope didn't need to! One of my primary arguments is that the situation did not call for divine intervention or unexplained magic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rune
it is actually often the standard that magic is not used for everyday needs
But "magic" isn't "magic" to the Elves. Walking on snow isn't "magic" to them. Their cloaks aren't "magic" either. They are as natural to elves as computers are to us. Computers aren't magic, though they would likely be called "magic" by individuals from early times.

If Elves made ropes that could come untied when commanded, it would not be "magic" to them- it would just be rope, and Haldir would be just as willing to "magically" untie rope as he was to "magically" run across rope.
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Originally Posted by Might
if such things had been so obvious as many here claim, then this would have been mentioned in many net articles on Entwives
Well maybe we're just a lot smarter than the people writing those "many net articles on Entwives". Anyway, are you saying that it is impossible to have a somewhat original idea that is correct?

If you had lived in the early 1900s, I suppose you would've been saying, "If that crap that Einstein is talking about was really true, then many other physicists would be saying it already."

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Old 04-10-2007, 07:04 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TP
But "magic" isn't "magic" to the Elves. Walking on snow isn't "magic" to them. Their cloaks aren't "magic" either. They are as natural to elves as computers are to us. Computers aren't magic, though they would likely be called "magic" by individuals from early times.

If Elves made ropes that could come untied when commanded, it would not be "magic" to them- it would just be rope, and Haldir would be just as willing to "magically" untie rope as he was to "magically" run across rope.
Well, that is how you picture it, I do not think it has ever been said that this was infact the elves relation to magic. I have not read the HoME or any letters (appart from the christmas ones) yet, so I could be wrong.

Youe argument is that there is no such thing as magic in LotR or at least that is the consequenses. If we were talking about "magic" or "whichcraft" in our world then I would gladly agree with you, but to draw a paralel between this world and ME seems wrong to me. It seems to go against the spirit of the books.

Is the mirror of Galadriel not magic either? or is it just like watching the telly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TP
But the rope didn't need to! One of my primary arguments is that the situation did not call for divine intervention or unexplained magic.
You are right in saying that it did not absolutely need to in order for the quest to succede, but no one said that there was a specific set of rules that had to be met for the rope to drop. It is magic! We are not supposed to have a check list. . .

They are being followed (check)
It would be usefull if the rope chose drop now (check)
Sertain doom if rope does not drop

oh darn the last one was not pressent therefor it cannot be magic!
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Old 04-11-2007, 01:08 AM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the phantom
But "magic" isn't "magic" to the Elves.
I disagree. Legolas sets himself apart from even Aragorn and Boromir in term of his ability - he does not consider it normal or ubiquitous.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The ring goes south, FotR
The strongest must seek a way, say you? But I say: let a ploughman plough, but choose an otter for swimming, and for running light over grass and leaf or over snow-an Elf
The leader of the elves also notes the peculiarity of the elven cloacks:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farewell to Lorien, FotR
And you will find them a great aid in keeping out of the sight of unfriendly eyes, whether you walk among the stones or the trees.
to a great effect:
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Riders of Rohan
In pairs they galloped by, and though every now and then one rose in his stirrups and gazed ahead and to either side, they appeared not to perceive the three strangers sitting silently and watching them. The host had almost passed when suddenly Aragorn stood up, and called in a loud voice
...
- And strange too is your raiment. Have you sprung out of the grass? How did you escape our sight?
What Galadriel and Tolkien dislike is the confusion of Men between magic used by elves and magic used by the enemy, which is an altogether different thing from saying that they discard the notion of magic itself:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Letter #131
I have not used 'magic' consistently, and indeed the Elven-queen Galadriel is obliged to remonstrate with the Hobbits on their confused use of the word both for the devices and operations of the Enemy, and for those of the Elves.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirror of Galadriel, FotR
For this is what your folk would call magic. I believe; though I do not understand clearly what they mean; and they seem also to use the same word of the deceits of the Enemy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Letter #155
I am afraid I have been far too casual about 'magic' and especially the use of the word; though Galadriel and others show by the criticism of the 'mortal' use of the word, that the thought about it is not altogether casual.
...
The Enemy's operations are by no means all goetic deceits, but 'magic' that produces real effects in the physical world. But his magia he uses to bulldoze both people and things, and his goeteia to terrify and subjugate. Their magia the Elves and Gandalf use (sparingly): a magia, producing real results (like fire in a wet faggot) for specific beneficent purposes. Their goetic effects are entirely artistic and not intended to deceive: they never deceive Elves (but may deceive or bewilder unaware Men) since the difference is to them as clear as the difference to us between fiction, painting, and sculpture, and 'life'.
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Old 04-12-2007, 12:06 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rune and Raynor
Blah blah magic blah blah I disagree blah blah...
Nope. Wrong.
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Old 04-13-2007, 05:30 PM   #89
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Okay, okay... here's a real response to the points you have raised.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rune
You are right in saying that it did not absolutely need to in order for the quest to succede, but no one said that there was a specific set of rules that had to be met for the rope to drop. It is magic! We are not supposed to have a check list.

They are being followed (check)
It would be usefull if the rope chose drop now (check)
Sertain doom if rope does not drop

oh darn the last one was not pressent therefor it cannot be magic!
My whole point about need was in response to the divine intervention argument for "magic". There is a difference between the two.

Example-
An elf runs over snow = normal "magic"
In a desperate situation an elf runs over water = not normal "magic" (must be divine intervention)

My argument is that the rope is either made to come untied upon command or it isn't. If it was not made that way (if it coming untied was not normal) then there was some sort of divine intervention involved. But obviously the situation did not call for divine intervention.

Therefore we must assume that the rope was designed to come untied, or that someone/something untied it. I have already given many reasons as to why I do not believe it was designed to come untied, and so the inescapable conclusion is that the rope was physically untied.
Quote:
Originally Posted by me
But "magic" isn't "magic" to the Elves.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raynor
I disagree. Legolas sets himself apart from even Aragorn and Boromir in term of his ability - he does not consider it normal or ubiquitous.
Aragorn and Boromir are not Elves! So of course it is not normal for them. It is normal for an Elf however. It is as normal to an Elf as walking is to a man. Therefore it is not some form of unusual or unpredictable "magic". It is simply a natural ability.

Just like making "magic" cloaks. It is simply an enhanced ability naturally possessed and developed by some Elves. And logically, rope making would be the same.

I don't see how any of the other quotes you gave disproves my view of magic. As a matter of fact, they support it.
Quote:
a magia, producing real results (like fire in a wet faggot) for specific beneficent purposes
You see? For a "specific" purpose! In other words, any "magic" that goes on is something that was specifically designed to happen. A rope doesn't untie itself because it is "magic"- it unties itself because it was purposefully and specifically designed to! Every time! The "magic" is consistent and precise- not enigmatic or unexplainable.

Anyway, there you go. The explanation has been given.

I think you guys just need to accept the fact that I found the Entwives.

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Old 04-14-2007, 04:23 PM   #90
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My whole point about need was in response to the divine intervention argument for "magic".
But need has a subjective aspect, whether in relation to divinity or to personal use of magic. One may experience a situation where his emotional status would make him consider certain actions as very necessary, even if they may not be so 'objectively'; and this we should consider when we refer to Frodo and Sam, after a hard journey, experiencing loss, betrayal, severance from the others, the burden of the quest, almost certainty of death at the end, etc. Even if we don't have an instance of magic, divine intervention may still bring about a good boost of morale, through an act of providence that may take away some of the fears and stress, and nurture hope and strength.
Quote:
It is normal for an Elf however.
I disagree that all instances of magic are normal for all elves. Even for Feanor, some of his magical (subcreative) works are unique, he cannot do them again; and most of what he created generates awe, esspecially in regards to the silmarils - not only among the elves, but among the maiar and the valar too, whose magical/subcreative abilities far surpass those of the elves. Even the valar experience the mistery of magic as subcreation: Yavanna cannot make the trees again.
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Old 04-14-2007, 08:22 PM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by me
It is normal for an Elf however. *regarding running over snow*
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raynor
I disagree that all instances of magic are normal for all elves.
First- it's NOT magic. Substitute "amazing natural skills" for "magic" in that sentence.

Okay, now that we've fixed that- you are correct if you are defining "normal" as "something they themselves could do". BUT something is not "magic" just because you can't do it.

I can't bowl a perfect 300 game. That does not mean that bowling a 300 game is magical, or that the person who did it was using any sort of magic. The ability to bowl a perfect game, while not common, is normal, in the sense that it is a feat that can be achieved naturally by a human being who fully develops a strong natural gift.

I think this explains your point about Feanor and his "magical" works. Sure, Feanor's skill was far beyond everyone else, but it was natural. His works were not beyond someone possessing his level of skill and focus and his amount of learning. So his works, though amazing, were in fact normal for someone of his stature.

As far as your point about creating things that can never be duplicated (Silmarils, the two trees), the sports analogy works well for that too. There are some feats in the career of a baseball/basketball/football athlete that can logically never be equaled. A perfect storm can hit where he is at the top of his game, going up against opponents he knows well, playing in stadiums that favor his style, and to top it off he has an amazing run of great luck.

No matter what your hobby or profession is, there is going to be one moment, one day, or one accomplishment that will be your best- something you will never equal. One place and time where every bit of your natural skill and your circumstances will hit full stride.

It's not "magic". It's perfectly normal. It's life.

Well, there you go. I hope I worded that well enough for you to see where I'm coming from.

As far as your take on divine intervention, honestly- divine intervention is used merely to create a feel-good moment? I don't buy it. Sam and Frodo showed themselves capable of dealing with a heck of a lot more than a lost rope. I seriously doubt it would cause them to have an emotional breakdown.
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Old 04-15-2007, 04:02 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the phantom
Substitute "amazing natural skills" for "magic" in that sentence.
Well, I think we need to define magic for our discussion. I would call it abilities to interact with the world that go beyond the purely phisical possibilities of the body; these abilities come from the power of the spirit, first and foremost. I believe it is safe to presume that the elves were capable to make this difference for themselves.
Quote:
Originally Posted by the phantom
divine intervention is used merely to create a feel-good moment? I
It wasn't purely symbolic, it also had a practical aspect, and even the emotional effect may not be that insignificant; after all, belief in the interventions of the 'invisible hand' is what drove the quest from the start. Since you haven't addressed the other part of that paragraph, I presume you agree that need can be perceived differently, according to circumstances, and if ability to interact with magical objects is positively influenced by the degree of need that is felt, then we can't discard magic-interaction explanation.
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Old 04-16-2007, 10:40 AM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray
Well, I think we need to define magic for our discussion.
No, no, no- let's keep this issue muddy.
Quote:
I would call it abilities to interact with the world that go beyond the purely phisical possibilities of the body
But how is physical power to influence and interact with matter any more natural (less magical) than spiritual/mental power to influence and interact with matter? Inherent natural power is inherent natural power, no matter if it is physical or not.

If we meet a race of aliens from Neptune that cannot make audible sounds but communicate telepathically, would you honestly call what they do "magic"? No. It would just be different and amazing. Also, our ability to communicate orally would be just as different and amazing from their point of view, so if what they do is indeed "magic" then our ability to speak is equally magical to them.
Quote:
I presume you agree that need can be perceived differently, according to circumstances, and if ability to interact with magical objects is positively influenced by the degree of need that is felt, then we can't discard magic-interaction explanation.
So, you are saying that the rope may have been specifically designed to react physically to the wielder on a sensitive emotional basis? That the rope could sense the amount of urgency in the mind of the person touching it and would be activated if the urgency exceeded a certain threshold?

That's a fine theory. It fits nicely with my view of "magic"- that it is specific and precise. And it could also explain the inconsistency with Haldir in Lothlorien untying the rope.

You can certainly choose to believe that if you wish. I can't think of anything to definitively refute it. But my instinct tells me that Elves wouldn't design a rope like that.

Can you imagine anyone building a microwave that would only work for starving people, who were desperately hungry? It's not efficient. If you're going to make something that works, wouldn't it make logical sense to allow it to work all the time?

Just like the boats from Lothlorien. They weren't just light when they needed to be carried. The cloaks weren't camouflage only when enemy eyes were upon them. Now, items more unique and special, like Galadriel's vial of light, I can see being more complex and containing emotional and vocal triggers. But rope- I have difficulty believing it.
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Old 04-16-2007, 03:56 PM   #94
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Phantom, central to your theory is the proposition that Haldir would not have been able to resist showing off Elven magic - technology - whatever you want to call it, to the Fellowship on the journey through Lothlorien.

Even were it not for the fact that he is a member of a notoriously secretive Elven society whose laws would not even allow those travelling through their realm know the route to its capital, that is pure speculation.

Seems like your on pretty shaky ground to me.

Oh and ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by the phantom
Yeah, and you're also the guy who believes he was just as good a reader when he was five years old as he is now.
Actually, my position was that my experience of LotR was just as valuable, albeit different, when I first read it (aged eleven) as when I read it now. Indeed, perhaps more so for being all the more magical and enchanting.

Other than that, I note that you failed to address my original points:

Quote:
Originally Posted by me
I am afraid, phantom, that I do not find your proposition convincing in the least. In a fantasy world like Middle-earth, I have no difficulty in believing that an Elven rope could “magically” untie itself if truly willed to do so by its bearer. Moreover, there is nothing in the passage that you reference which could specifically relate to Entwives, save for the presence of gnarled trees. And Middle-earth is hardly devoid of trees, gnarled or otherwise.
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Old 04-16-2007, 05:18 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by The Great and Mighty SPM
Phantom, central to your theory is the proposition that Haldir would not have been able to resist showing off Elven magic - technology - whatever you want to call it, to the Fellowship on the journey through Lothlorien.
Yep. I've established that Haldir is an unnecessary show off. Surely you'll concede that point.

I've also established that "magic" items are simply made the way they are and that they are used as they exist. In other words, you won't hear Celeborn say "Outsiders are coming! Quickly, flip the magic switches on your cloaks so their magic stops working!"

It's not like that. The Elves make objects that have special properties, and that's the way they are, and the Elves use them as they are. If their ropes come untied without effort, that's what they do. Would that be a closely guarded secret?

And is Haldir even an Elf who guards secrets closely? Hmmm?

Think about it. He completely reveals to the Fellowship the way in which the Elves of Lothlorien cross rivers, doesn't he? If Pippin, for instance, was in league with Dol Guldur, he could report "There are no bridges anywhere across the streams and rivers of Lothlorien. The Elves use ropes to cross." Haldir also let the hobbits up into their flet, and they revealed to the Fellowship that they had led the Orcs astray with fake voices.

So let's not pretend that Haldir and company were obsessively secretive.
Quote:
In a fantasy world like Middle-earth, I have no difficulty in believing that an Elven rope could “magically” untie itself if truly willed to do so by its bearer.
Middle-Earth is not a silly anything-goes fake world. There are rules. Tolkien tried to explain most things. He wrote about the principles and rules regarding incarnation, and necromancy, and other things. If any old magic thing could just happen, Middle-Earth would be a stupid place. Tolkien for the most part tried to avoid things like Tom Bombadil. Aragorn cannot jump off a mountain and fly by flapping his arms and willing himself to do it. He is governed by the same laws of nature that are in our world.

You cannot say that things can magically happen outside of rules and explanations just because it is a work of fantasy. That is an insult to the level of realism that Prof Tolkien worked so hard to create.

(of course, I'm not saying you were trying to insult JRRT)
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Old 04-16-2007, 07:39 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TP
Yep. I've established that Haldir is an unnecessary show off. Surely you'll concede that point.
Nope. Not unless you provide some convincing evidence that he was prepared to reveal the workings of Elven magic (technology etc) to a group of virtual strangers, as opposed to simply showing them how they crossed rivers and ambushed Orcs (things that any Tom, Dick or Pippin could work out, and indeed do, if they put their mind to it).

Quote:
Originally Posted by TP
I've also established that "magic" items are simply made the way they are and that they are used as they exist. In other words, you won't hear Celeborn say "Outsiders are coming! Quickly, flip the magic switches on your cloaks so their magic stops working!"
On the other hand, you won't catch members of the Fellowship continually bumping into each other simply because they are wearing Elven cloaks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TP
If Pippin, for instance, was in league with Dol Guldur, he could report "There are no bridges anywhere across the streams and rivers of Lothlorien. The Elves use ropes to cross.
Which would be handy to them, as otherwise they would be completely stumped. After all, it's not like they could chop down a tree to cross the river or anything, is it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TP
You cannot say that things can magically happen outside of rules and explanations just because it is a work of fantasy.
Agreed. But the nature and function of the Elven rope is not in the least inconsistent with other aspects of Elven magic (technology etc) or with other aspects of Middle-earth (fire-breathing dragons, rings of invisibility, glowing (and talking) swords etc).

Still waiting for an answer to this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by me
Moreover, there is nothing in the passage that you reference which could specifically relate to Entwives, save for the presence of gnarled trees. And Middle-earth is hardly devoid of trees, gnarled or otherwise.
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Old 04-16-2007, 08:58 PM   #97
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Quote:
Yep. I've established that Haldir is an unnecessary show off.
I would disagree, I think Haldir is nothin' but a sentinel that liked to break the laws
Quote:
'....I do not doubt you,' said Haldir. 'Yet this is our law. I am not the master of the law, and cannot set it aside. I have done much in letting you set foot over Celebrant.'
By Haldir's own admission he's stretched his authority a bit too far, so all the things that he did for the Fellowship, he probably shouldn't have...hmph he should be honourably discharged.

Phantom, of course there are rules within Middle-earth, I mean Gandalf can't storm into Mordor and blow up Barad-dur with a fireball out of his...erm...hand. But, just because there are limitations to the 'magic' in Middle-earth doesn't mean everything from Middle-earth is exactly how it is in our 'real world.'

Let's take the Old Forest for example...Old Man Willow was a tree:
Quote:
"...and in it there lived yet, aging no quicker than the hills, the fathers of the fathers of trees, remembering times when they were lords. The countless years had filled them with pride and rooted wisdom, and with malice. But none were more dangerous than the Great Willow: his heart was rotten, but his strength was green; and he was cunning, and a master of winds, and his song and thought ran through the woods on both sides of the river."
Old Man Willow (in Middle-earth) was simply a tree, but he certainly doesn't behave like the trees we have in reality. And as Tolkien points out in Letter 212, trees in his world can 'go bad.':
Quote:
The Fall or corruption, therefore, of all things in it and all inhabitants of it, was a possibility if not inevitable. Trees may "go bad" as in the Old Forest...
If anyone in the 'real world' came and told me an evil tree tried to eat them I would put that person on some heavy medication.

Yes, there are limitations to 'magic' in The Lord of the Rings...but that doesn't change the fact that (as SpM points out) The Lord of the Rings is in the fantasy genre and not everything from the real world behaves as it does in Tolkien's story. So, we end up with ropes that can untie themselves, nasty trees that try to eat hobbits, gynormous spiders...and so on.
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Old 04-24-2007, 06:49 PM   #98
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Eye I know why you're here, SPM...

In the secret Barrow-Downs headquarters, the BDs admin/mod team have their weekly meeting.

BW: All right, I think that's all of the old business taken care of. Anyone have any new business?
Mithadan: Well, there is the Entwives thread.
Underhill: What about it? It's an old thread, and a pretty harmless topic.
Mithadan: TP's been on there lately. He's insisting that an Entwife untied Sam's rope in the Emyn Muil.
*laughter*
Mithadan: No, I'm afraid it's no laughing matter. He seems to be dead serious about it.
BW: Hmm... well, I suppose we ought to do something. Letting such an absurd idea stand on our board doesn't reflect well on us.
Esty: Sure, but what can we do? If he is indeed taking the issue seriously, we can't warn him for chatting or silliness. And we certainly can't turn into the thought police and punish him for holding a unique opinion.
Morm: That settles it, then. We've got to take his idea on directly- debate with him.
Underhill: I don't know about that. Whoever debates him might be looked down upon for even bothering to argue with him, and sinking to his level of ridiculousness.
SPM: I'll do it!
*all eyes turn to SPM*
BW: Are you sure, SPM?
SPM: Yes, of course. I'd never miss a chance to spar with TP. Anyway, my reputation around here is so high that I don't have to worry about looking bad every once and a while.
BW: All right, then it's settled. SPM is assigned to shut down the Entwife thread.
*pounds gavel*



You haven't shut me down just yet, SPM. I've only been busy. Within the day I will answer your questions- and yours, Boro. Be prepared. I will convert you yet.
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Old 04-25-2007, 05:41 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by me
Yep. I've established that Haldir is an unnecessary show off. Surely you'll concede that point.
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Originally Posted by SPM
Nope. Not unless you provide some convincing evidence that he was prepared to reveal the workings of Elven magic (technology etc) to a group of virtual strangers, as opposed to simply showing them how they crossed rivers
The way they crossed rivers was every bit as "magic" as their cloaks and boats and televisions. If he didn't care about one, why would he care about the other? What could be gained from hiding the secret of Elven rope from the Fellowship anyway?

Also, by the time they left Lothlorien they were not strangers, but were given much Elvish technology. Each piece of tech was explained as well. They found out about the lembas. They were taught to handle the boats. They were told about the virtues of their cloaks. Why weren't they told about THE ROPE?! It makes no sense!! If the rope had special properties as important as auto-untie then they would have been informed.

No, no, no... there is no argument to that. Don't try it.

Seriously. I'm warning you, SPM.
Quote:
Still waiting for an answer to this:
Moreover, there is nothing in the passage that you reference which could specifically relate to Entwives, save for the presence of gnarled trees. And Middle-earth is hardly devoid of trees, gnarled or otherwise.
Well, of course. If something in the passage could "specifically relate to Entwives" we wouldn't have this thread, would we? The answer would be settled.

The whole point of this thread is that Tolkien hid the Entwives and I found them. You can't hide under a sign that says "I'm right here!" can you? So the lack of an official Entwife marker goes without saying.
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Originally Posted by Fenris Penguin
But, just because there are limitations to the 'magic' in Middle-earth doesn't mean everything from Middle-earth is exactly how it is in our 'real world.'....
Old Man Willow (in Middle-earth) was simply a tree, but he certainly doesn't behave like the trees we have in reality. And as Tolkien points out in Letter 212, trees in his world can 'go bad.':
Woah! Stop right there. No need to go further. You made my point for me. "Tolkien points out"!

When Middle-Earth is different from this world Tolkien tells us about it. But unless he says otherwise, it is the same. Tolkien never has an in depth discussion of gravity, thus we can assume that the rules work the same.

Tolkien worked hard to make Middle Earth real. If you can find an exception or two, I guarantee you that given more years of life Tolkien would have corrected it.
Quote:
The Lord of the Rings is in the fantasy genre and not everything from the real world behaves as it does in Tolkien's story. So, we end up with ropes that can untie themselves, nasty trees that try to eat hobbits, gynormous spiders...and so on.
Tolkien explains the trees, and the hobbits, and the spiders. They are NOT magical unexplained fantasy things. Tolkien defines them- makes them real. I've said it before and here it is again- just because LOTR is placed in the "fantasy" section at the library does not mean any old stupid unexplained thing can happen and be accepted. That's dumb. If LOTR was like that no one would read it.

There! If anyone ever again tries to use the "but it's fantasy" argument on my thread I'm just going to link them back to this post.
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Old 04-27-2007, 07:02 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by the phantom
The way they crossed rivers was every bit as "magic" as their cloaks and boats and televisions.
The way that Haldir crossed the river had everything to do with his innate ability as an Elf (the abiity to walk across a single strand of rope) and nothing to do with any unusual quality of the rope itself. There was no need for him to reveal its auto-untie function (if indeed this rope shared the same quality as Sam's rope, which is not necessarily the case) because there were Elves on both sides of the river.

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Originally Posted by the phantom
Why weren't they told about THE ROPE?! It makes no sense!! If the rope had special properties as important as auto-untie then they would have been informed.
Perhaps this particular quality of the rope only worked in certain circumstances and they did not want to raise the Fellowship's expectations. Sam was all but distraught at the thought of having to leave it behind, so perhaps that is the "trigger" that was required. Possibly, the Elves thought those of other races incapable of forming such a bond with an Elven artifact such as to trigger its capabilities in this regard. In any event, while seemingly at odds with the manner in which most of the other gifts were handed over, this point by no means precludes the possibility that the rope had auto-untying capability.

Quote:
Well, of course. If something in the passage could "specifically relate to Entwives" we wouldn't have this thread, would we? The answer would be settled.
I agree. But if you would care to refer back to the passage from Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit quoted by Ardamir, you will see that (as noted in my post #70) there is far more in that passage which might be interpreted as subtle references to the Entwives than in the passage to which you are precariously clinging.

Quote:
Woah! Stop right there. No need to go further. You made my point for me. "Tolkien points out"!
You are of course conveniently overlooking the hint that Tolkien gives us as to the rope's capability. When Sam's gentle tug brings the rope down and Frodo attributes this either to the inadequacy of Sam's knot or the rope breaking, Sam says:

"... but I think the rope came off itself – when I called.”

Case closed.
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Old 04-27-2007, 09:30 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by TT, The Taming of Sméagol
He stroked the rope's end and shook it gently. `It goes hard parting with anything I brought out of the Elf-country. Made by Galadriel herself, too, maybe. Galadriel,' he murmured nodding his head mournfully. He looked up and gave one last pull to the rope as if in farewell. To the complete surprise of both the hobbits it came loose. Sam fell over, and the long grey coils slithered silently down on top of him.
I think you're both overlooking something very important here. There was a trigger, a "magic word", if you will. The rope was called, using the name if its maker, and it responded. Obviously, the word "Galadriel" has magical properties, and invoking it over the rope was the key, the trigger, by which the bearer could activate the "loosening mode". Something akin to a password. Sam says "Galadriel" and pulls the rope -- the knot falls away. Seems clear enough to me.

In a more serious vein, I think we're arguing apples and oranges here. I think of "magic" as almost synonymous with "miracle". C.S. Lewis defined miracles (I'm paraphrasing) as displays of supernatural power which supercede the ordinary laws of physics. I think what TP is attempting to assert (though I'm open to correction)is that what some people call "magic" is just a better understanding of the "laws of physics" that govern the universe of Middle Earth. Sort of like the formulaic, assembly-line magic in the Harry-Potter books. What TM seems to be arguing is that while the use of "magic" in Middle Earth is more rare than in HP, it is still part of the "natural order" in that if the same elf does the same thing in the same way, you should get the same result. As opposed to "real magic", what I would call a "miracle", and which is probably closest to what Tolkien called the "eucatastrophe", the kind of thing that cannot be counted on to recur.

Although a television would be called magic not-so-many generations ago, having a television back then would be ultimately useless. A television (the processor) is a device that requires a couple of things external to itself for it to function as it was intended -- electricity (power) and a broadcast signal to receive and transform into visuals (direction). Perhaps (and this is just theory to toss around in discussion) Elves differ from Men in that they have not only the better understanding of the processes governing Arda (the "television"), but also the innate connection to Eru/immortality/what-have-you (the "electricity") and the ability to order their (forgive me if the terms are inexact) spirit in such a way as to give direction to that power to affect the natural world (the "broadcast signal").

So as to confuse the discussion further, let me intentionally mix my analogies a bit. The wizards of the Harry Potter universe are analogous to the Elves of Middle-Earth in that they each have the innate ability to call upon whatever power-source to affect their respective natural worlds, but according to laws and rules known to each. Correspondingly, Men, Hobbits, and Dwarves lack this innate ability, being the "muggles" of Middle Earth.

The difference between HP and ME, as I see it, is that in HP, the amount of "backing power" behind the "magic" appears to be limitless -- the wizards seem to be mere channels of some natural power outside themselves, the only difference in wizards being the level of their ability to channel whatever power supplies them. In ME, on the other hand, using "magic" seems to require a portion of that being's native strength, which can be exhausted if overused -- e.g. Morgoth pouring so much of his power into Arda that he himself was weakened to the point of being trapped in a fixed guise, or Sauron infusing the Ring with so much of his native power that he was reduced to almost nothing when it was destroyed, or Gandalf being weakened by his struggle with the Balrog over the door in Moria. It perhaps explains much about why magic is used so infrequently in ME.

It's a flawed analogy, I'm sure, but it was helpful to me in trying to understand TP's point of view. I now return you to your normal interesting discussion.

EDIT: This would also nicely explain why Feanor could not duplicate the creation of the Silmarils -- he had poured so much of his innate strength into their making, that he was incapable of doing it twice. Just a thought.
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Old 06-02-2007, 05:47 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by the phantom
But how is physical power to influence and interact with matter any more natural (less magical) than spiritual/mental power to influence and interact with matter? Inherent natural power is inherent natural power, no matter if it is physical or not.
I disagree; the fea is not of this world, therefore the power it has cannot be compared to whatever powers a material object (even a hroa) might have.
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Originally Posted by the phantom
The cloaks weren't camouflage only when enemy eyes were upon them. Now, items more unique and special, like Galadriel's vial of light, I can see being more complex and containing emotional and vocal triggers. But rope- I have difficulty believing it.
Well, while we are at it, the issue of "authority", as a factor strengthening thought-transmission, can also be applied here. After all, the ropes were "delegated" to the hobbits. I would say this is in just in the same manner that the palantiri, for example, were "delegated" to the numenoreans, who afterwards derrived enough power from said "authority" that they could even defy Sauron's power [I am referring to both Aragorn and Denethor]. So, it would be "urgency" and "authority" too.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:51 PM   #103
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Got reminded of how much I love this thread and decided to repost here.
Every so often, I'll visit this thing, go over the OP and mull over what Teleporno said, years later and it's probably obvious the guy was a hoaxer, but what can I say? He inspired me! Perhaps he believed in what he said.

But I had an idea, and by all means, call me a crazy idiot.
But what if the Entwives had became 'treeish'? What if they didn't all go away, but stayed in the forests?
Dreaming of wandering off and creating a garden, they instead stayed put, waiting for their husbands to share their vision.

But the male Ents, being notoriously contemptuous of 'hastiness' dithered and dathered, doing so for so long that the Entiwives became static and tree-like - literally bored stiff with their inaction.

Teleporno stated the importance of the womens liberation movement, what if the fate of the Entiwives reflects the other women, the ones who stayed within the old patriarchal system - waiting for things to change rather than changing them themselves?

What do you think?
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:23 PM   #104
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But I had an idea, and by all means, call me a crazy idiot.
But what if the Entwives had became 'treeish'? What if they didn't all go away, but stayed in the forests?
Dreaming of wandering off and creating a garden, they instead stayed put, waiting for their husbands to share their vision.

But the male Ents, being notoriously contemptuous of 'hastiness' dithered and dathered, doing so for so long that the Entiwives became static and tree-like - literally bored stiff with their inaction.
Becoming "treeish" seems to be a process requiring a long period of time, so I don't see that happening on a large scale without at least some Ents being aware. I would also question the likelihood of the process happening to every one of the Entwives, since it seems to affect Ents fairly randomly, and not necessarily as an intentional act.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:02 PM   #105
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Elvish song of the Entwives

This is from the song of the Entwives:

When spring is come to garth and field, and corn is in the blade;
When blossom like a shining snow is on the orchard laid;
When shower and Sun upon the Earth with fragrance fill the air,
I'll linger here and will not come, because my land is fair.


Fragrance fills the air in Ithilien, but the general type of trees are not orchard species, and the trees at the crossroads are far too large to fit the type described by Treebeard:

"But the entwives gave their minds to the lesser trees, and to the meads in the sunshine beyond the feet of the forest; and they saw the sloe in the thicket... and the green herbs in the waterlands... and bear leaf and fruit..."

I do not know of any reason to suppose the Entwives were even 'treeish'. Though they had "the eyes of our people" they also had hair parched by the sun. This is why I'm not inclined to think the sighting of a tree that walked in The Shire was an Entwife. Though we're told they would like the Shire this sounds more like a searching Ent.
Considering their love of fruit and corn and watermeadow, and their golden hair, and the structure of Entish names (in our language at any rate) I would say that Goldberry fits the bill.

While this is my favoured view, I'm still glad that there is no explicit statement of 'here be an Entwife'. Even if there were such a comment from JRRT it would still raise the question of where the rest had gone, and it's much more fascinating to think Goldberry might be some other being like a Maiar or a fair young elf queen.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:12 AM   #106
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Considering their love of fruit and corn and watermeadow, and their golden hair, and the structure of Entish names (in our language at any rate) I would say that Goldberry fits the bill.

While this is my favoured view, I'm still glad that there is no explicit statement of 'here be an Entwife'. Even if there were such a comment from JRRT it would still raise the question of where the rest had gone, and it's much more fascinating to think Goldberry might be some other being like a Maiar or a fair young elf queen.
That's a very interesting point of view, never thought of it that way. It's certainly innovative and I like it, even though I don't find it likely But it's certainly a nice idea. I guess why I never thought of that was, Goldberry's personality does not seem very much like the way the Entwives are described. And while it is true Treebeard does not seem to recollect very well whether the Entwives looked a lot like the Ents or not, still, it is probably rather safe to assume, or expect, that Goldberry should have been a bit more, hum, treeish if she had been one...

Also, there's her name "River-daughter". She seems to be heavily associated with just that, she sings the rain-songs and songs about streams and so on, so why is she "River-daughter" if she is an Ent(wife)?
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:11 AM   #107
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... expect, that Goldberry should have been a bit more, hum, treeish if she had been one...
It was the Ents who loved the great trees, the Entwives loved lesser trees and watermeadows and herbs etc. If shepherd becomes like sheep then I'd expect Entwives to become more like the plants they love, in Goldberry's case waterlillies or Irises perhaps. But then if, as treebeard says, "the elves started it [talking to the trees to waken them]" then why should Ent not become more Elvish?

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... Also, there's her name "River-daughter". She seems to be heavily associated with just that, she sings the rain-songs and songs about streams and so on, so why is she "River-daughter" if she is an Ent(wife)?
Because:
"When shower and Sun upon the Earth with fragrance fill the air,
I'll linger here..."


It's a pity we don't know much about Radagast because herblore was part of his expertise, and he was the Maiar sent to Middle Earth by the female Valar who sang the Ents and herbs into being. Perhaps he dwelled in Rhosgobel, in the eaves of Mirkwood, because that was where the rest of the Entwives were? Certainly the fields of the Beornings were as garden-like as the Barrow Downs. Bilbo and Thorin's company, coming into that land:

"...noticed that great patches of flowers had begun to spring up, all the same kinds growing together as if they had been planted." TH, Queer Lodgings.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:00 AM   #108
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It was the Ents who loved the great trees, the Entwives loved lesser trees and watermeadows and herbs etc. If shepherd becomes like sheep then I'd expect Entwives to become more like the plants they love, in Goldberry's case waterlillies or Irises perhaps. But then if, as treebeard says, "the elves started it [talking to the trees to waken them]" then why should Ent not become more Elvish?
I think, based on the above, that Entwives would start looking more like herbs and plants rather than trees, but Ent looking more Elvish is a different step. That would require the Entwife in question turning away both from the Ent lifestyle (among trees) and the mainstream Entwife lifestyle (working in their gardens) to spending a lot of time with the Elves.

But I don't have anything against it. There were Elves passing around, such as Gildor's group. The only thing is that it would make Goldberry a really "wild teenager", or how to call it, a "total rebel" from both the Ent and Entwife lifestyle: roaming so incredibly far and spending time with Elves or whomever for a long time. And in the end, living in some pool where Tom found her (even if we discount the poem of Adventures of Tom Bombadil, where it is basically explicitely stated that she was the daughter of the River-woman, of course it depends on everyone how much "canonical" s/he deems it and whether we don't say that it's only what the folklore of Hobbits made out of the little they knew about Tom and Goldberry; there is still however Tom's explicit confession to Frodo and co. how he had found Goldberry in the river).

Quote:
It's a pity we don't know much about Radagast because herblore was part of his expertise, and he was the Maiar sent to Middle Earth by the female Valar who sang the Ents and herbs into being. Perhaps he dwelled in Rhosgobel, in the eaves of Mirkwood, because that was where the rest of the Entwives were?
It was certainly not far from their original gardens, which were in the Brown Lands, as Treebeard said. But it does not really make much sense. If the Entwives really left their gardens (out of fear from the rising power of Mordor, perhaps, and so on), it would not really help or make sense to move only a couple of dozens of miles to the north. Besides, concerning the later ages, we must consider Radagast a bit of a rarity. Once the Mirkwood started darkening, nobody would really be happy about living too close to its south end - Eorl the Young, when riding south to help Gondor, was really freaked out from the idea of merely passing in the sight of the wood on the east bank. Most of all, I am not sure whether the area around Rhosgobel would be the best for the Entwives. If they loved gardens, and one presumes lots of open space (for example equal to the size of Fangorn) needed for that, the Anduin Vales are nice, true, but there would certainly be more suitable areas more to the East - just like Treebeard presumed that the Entwives might have gone that way (they originally left Fangorn exactly for that - going to the originally lush wide plains north of future Dagorlad).

Quote:
Certainly the fields of the Beornings were as garden-like as the Barrow Downs. Bilbo and Thorin's company, coming into that land:

"...noticed that great patches of flowers had begun to spring up, all the same kinds growing together as if they had been planted." TH, Queer Lodgings.
Nothing against that description, but of course you must acknowledge that it is merely a description of cultivated gardens surrounding one house (later, in the times of a strong Beorning "nation" by the time of LotR, something bigger, of course). I mean, there were thousands and thousands of places like that in Middle-Earth, starting with the Shire (which however was all like that and was big, and that was one of the reasons Treebeard assumed the Entwives would have liked it), but you could speak in the same way about the meadows of Lebennin or whatever else - I am sure Ioreth's sisters had wonderful gardens somewhere in Imloth Melui or whatnot. I think if Entwives had lived near the Beornings, somebody would have noticed (the Beornings or Woodmen, namely).
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:17 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by Ardent View Post
It's a pity we don't know much about Radagast because herblore was part of his expertise, and he was the Maiar sent to Middle Earth by the female Valar who sang the Ents and herbs into being. Perhaps he dwelled in Rhosgobel, in the eaves of Mirkwood, because that was where the rest of the Entwives were?
For a long time I thought it curious that Radagast is not mentioned by Treebeard given that he was a Maia of Yavanna, but Yavanna was the Vala of animals as well as plants. I've eventually gained the impression that the Maiar "people" of the various Valar did not necessarily partake of the whole domain of their particular Vala: hence Aiwendil-Radagast was seemingly only interested in the animal side of the Yavanna-aspect of Arda, and not the plant. In Morgoth's Ring (where would I be without "Myths Transformed"?) the Professor notes that Sauron saw Gandalf as "only a rather cleverer Radagast - cleverer, because it is more profitable (more productive of power) to become absorbed in the study of people than of animals." (p.397) This would further suggest to me that Radagast's primary interest was in animals, despite his Vala being also concerned with plants.
After all, Treebeard describes Gandalf as "the only wizard that really cares about trees." (LR p.455) Then again Treebeard does add that "I do not know the history of wizards" and in Letter 153 Professor Tolkien remarks of Treebeard that "there is quite a lot he does not know or understand. He does not know what 'wizards' are, or whence they came." (Letters p.190)
That being said, as was quoted some years ago in this thread Professor Tolkien does offer some explanation for the Entwives' disappearance in Letter 144: "I think that in fact the Entwives had disappeared for good, being destroyed with their gardens in the War of the Last Alliance when Sauron pursued a scorched earth policy and burned their land", although he does leave room for surivors: "some, of course, may have fled east or even have become enslaved." So there is the possibility for a remnant to have ended up, seemingly, in Nurn or in Rhûn - a potential but I daresay unintentional association with, say, Dorwinion could perhaps be interpolated from this "fled east" suggestion.
Of course he does make a point of saying in Letter 247 of the Ents that "the males were devoted to Oromë, but the Wives to Yavanna." So perhaps there is room for an Entwife-Radagast connection even if Radagast was primarily interested in animals. That being said I personally am rather resistant to much embellishment of Radagast's role: for my own part I tend to feel that Professor Tolkien wrote very little about him for a reason: because he considered him to have done very little, and to be rather insignificant for all his origin. I don't wish to digress but to me Radagast, although doubtless a "worthy wizard" in his own way, is very much representative of the fallibility of the Valar and their plans, even if in a very different way to Saruman.
Like Professor Tolkien I think it's nice to hope that the Entwives survived in some way, and I find the Ent/Entwife song to be very moving, but I think the Professor was wise to leave the matter ambiguous. That mystery, the sense of loss and the tiny hope of reunion and reconciliation which is so doggedly clung to is, in my view, more powerful and more valuable than him providing us with a hard and fast answer about what happened.
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:20 PM   #110
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I have a theory that Entwives live happily in Lothlorien tending the Mallorn trees.
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:32 PM   #111
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I have a theory that Entwives live happily in Lothlorien tending the Mallorn trees.
If that were the case though, surely Treebeard would have known. In addition, Aragorn had visited Lórien many times, yet the Ents were unknown to him. The Mirkwood Elves too would seem to have been well placed to at least have heard of their presence, yet Legolas knew nothing more of Ents and Entwives than old songs of his people.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:34 PM   #112
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Sauron turned the entwives into trolls, and taught them how to drop their aitches.

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Old 08-30-2014, 03:10 AM   #113
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I'm not sure Sauron or any of his followers had the knowledge of agriculture necessary to establish crops in the fields of Nurn that could feed the armies of Mordor. It seems reasonable that either captured Entwives or men who had been taught by Entwives may have had a hand in this.
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Old 08-30-2014, 03:25 AM   #114
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Sauron turned the entwives into trolls, and taught them how to drop their aitches.
Thomasina, Berta and Wilhelmena. I'd imagine their conversation would have been more like a Mrs Brown's Boys sketch if that had been the case.

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Old 08-30-2014, 06:55 AM   #115
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If that were the case though, surely Treebeard would have known. In addition, Aragorn had visited Lórien many times, yet the Ents were unknown to him. The Mirkwood Elves too would seem to have been well placed to at least have heard of their presence, yet Legolas knew nothing more of Ents and Entwives than old songs of his people.
I think maybe they were present in spirit, their bodies having been destroyed by orcs.
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:26 AM   #116
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I think maybe they were present in spirit, their bodies having been destroyed by orcs.
Haunting the place isn't exactly the same thing as "living happily"' though, is it?
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:42 AM   #117
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Haunting the place isn't exactly the same thing as "living happily"' though, is it?

depends on your definition of haunting. I dont happen to call it haunting as in spooks floating around a graveyard going 'wooo', but more a Genius loci perhaps sent by Yavanna, seeing as she loves all growing things I suspect Entwives would be dear to her.
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Old 08-30-2014, 12:41 PM   #118
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depends on your definition of haunting. I dont happen to call it haunting as in spooks floating around a graveyard going 'wooo', but more a Genius loci perhaps sent by Yavanna, seeing as she loves all growing things I suspect Entwives would be dear to her.
Spirits in Middle-earth proper (outside of Valinor and the Halls of Mandos) are almost exclusively cast in a negative light: the Paths of the Dead, the Dead Marshes, the Barrows, etc. There really are no "happy spirits" inhabiting Tolkien's world, nor is there any textual evidence for any such conclusion.

Now, if you were to suggest that the entwives became treeish (bushy? bloomlike? shrubbish? ), then there is a precedent for that amongst ents and huorns; however, considering the Fellowship stayed for quite a while in Lorien without any hint of such a phenomenon, then it's still far-fetched.
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Old 08-30-2014, 01:24 PM   #119
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Spirits in Middle-earth proper (outside of Valinor and the Halls of Mandos) are almost exclusively cast in a negative light: the Paths of the Dead, the Dead Marshes, the Barrows, etc. There really are no "happy spirits" inhabiting Tolkien's world, nor is there any textual evidence for any such conclusion.

Now, if you were to suggest that the entwives became treeish (bushy? bloomlike? shrubbish? ), then there is a precedent for that amongst ents and huorns; however, considering the Fellowship stayed for quite a while in Lorien without any hint of such a phenomenon, then it's still far-fetched.

never suggested there was textual evidence. its my own pet theory. I like it as it is. Also I dont take a narrow view on what is and isnt a spirit.
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Old 08-30-2014, 02:53 PM   #120
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never suggested there was textual evidence. its my own pet theory. I like it as it is. Also I dont take a narrow view on what is and isnt a spirit.
I understand this is a "pet theory" of yours. I was just wondering if there was any semblance of precedent in your conjecture. As there really isn't a hint of canon to support it, there's nothing further to discuss.
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