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Old 02-10-2013, 10:45 AM   #41
blantyr
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Narya Housewife?

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Originally Posted by elbenprincess View Post
In modern world Luthien would be a mother and housewife (which is not bad, I donエt want to be disrespectful), while Galadriel would be politican ;-)
I'd like to think Luthien could find some sort of place in the music industry.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:26 PM   #42
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while Galadriel would be politican

No, that's what happens if she takes the Ring.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:12 AM   #43
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Hello, I discovered this section yesterday, because I was only "absorbed" with the new Silmarillion section, but this thread is for me related, and i want to contribute to it.
As the New Silmarillion posters know i have constructed A Complete Silmarillion in Spanish, in my way. And of course the history of Galadriel and Celeborn was "reconstructed". As Findegil I also am a combiner but in other way. In general I am agreed with Galin (with some differences) but for example:

Quote:
Originally posted by Galin
With a notable cough I 'interpret' Galadriel's line in The Lord of the Rings ['... and I have dwelt with him years uncounted; for ere the fall of Nargothrond or Gondolin I passed over the mountains, and together through ages of the world we have fought the long defeat.'] to mean she passed over mountains into Beleriand to ultimately meet Celeborn, a Sindarin Elf and kinsman of Thingol, in Doriath.
....

After that is seems we have Galadriel in Thingol's realm, learning from Melian and having a life with Celeborn there until the Sack of Doriath, based on the brief line [Unfinished Tales] that Celeborn 'escaped the sack of Doriath'.
Well, due to the versions of TLOTR and TRGEO (that I think must be a law, because they were published by their author), I tried to make solution thinking and editorially writing in my recontructed account of the Second Age, that ere the fall of Nargothrond, in a non told year, Galadriel passed over the Mountains and "discovered" Lindorinand but she returned to Doriath again.
Then after the sack of Doriath we could think, but only think, that Elwing and the people of Doriath perhaps were guided by Galadriel and Celeborn.

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Old 02-17-2013, 05:34 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by gondowe
Well, due to the versions of TLOTR and TRGEO (that I think must be a law, because they were published by their author),...
I very much agree!

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... I tried to make solution thinking and editorially writing in my recontructed account of the Second Age, that ere the fall of Nargothrond, in a non told year, Galadriel passed over the Mountains and "discovered" Lindorinand but she returned to Doriath again.
That certainly works. I stayed away from a reconciliation of having two trips only because I don't think that was ever Tolkien's intent coupled with (my opinion) that this seems a greater step to take with respect to reconstruction -- not that you are saying it was Tolkien's intent of course; I realize that.

I think the first trip into Eriador and beyond (which ended up with Galadriel meeting Celeborn in Lindorinand) was abandoned by JRRT, and that he possibly didn't remember the implication of Galadriel's statement, or maybe he didn't think it was explicit enough to be problematic enough for revision.

Admittedly I don't think Tolkien ever meant (that Galadriel meant) the Ered Wethrin with her statement in The Lord of the Rings, but it seemed to me to be a lesser sort of interpretation than retaining her trip to Lindorinand here. I assume she did cross the Ered Wethrin at some point to get to Doriath, although I agree it's a bit of an odd way to put things, given that if that were her meaning, it was certainly before the 'fall' of Nargothrond!

Part of my 'cough' above

That said, as I write this post and think about it more, we know that when Tolkien wrote this line in The Lord of the Rings, according to Christopher Tolkien anyway, his father probably did 'mean' that Galadriel passed over Eredluin (and the Misty Mountains perhaps) to arrive in Lindorinand (in this earlier conception to meet Celeborn the Nandorin Elf)...

... so in a sense, your scenario preserves part of the actual early idea behind this statement, with one adjustment being that Celeborn was not in Lindorinand already however.


I shall think more on this point then, at least.

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Old 02-19-2013, 11:38 AM   #45
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Well, Galadriel's statement in FR is somewhat vague in its first part, at least with regard to the declaration that Celeborn "has dwelt in the West since the days of dawn." West could mean pretty much anything from Beleriand to Eriador to Lorinand. (but not in this context, I think, Valinor).

The problem of course arises with the "I" as opposed to "we;" and the proposition "for" in "I have dwelt with him years uncounted, for ere the fall of Nargothrond I passed over the mountains, and together" etc. Pretty hard to get around that- Galadriel met Celeborn *after* she crossed the mountains (whether Ered Luin or Hithaeglir doesn't really matter)- i.e. Celeborn could not have been a Sinda (unless one wants to fan-fic up a tale in which he independently headed out from Doriath on his own). No, Celeborn was conceived as a native Avar/Nando, and the sentence just escaped later revision.

It is in fact a 'ghost' sentence, like Gimli's unused axe; it's not something to be reconciled or papered over, it's just an artifact of a work of imaginative fiction. It's not like there's an underlying reality, you know.
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:20 PM   #46
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Then how about Ered Wethrin WCH

The problem there is, Nargothrond hadn't even been begun yet when Galadriel crossed these mountains, much less fallen... but I wonder if the fall of Gondolin and Nargothrond might simply be used as a historic marker, so to speak... somewhat like saying 'before the Fall of Rome' generally equals 'a long time ago'...

... or ahem, something.

Quote:
It is in fact a 'ghost' sentence, like Gimli's unused axe; it's not something to be reconciled or papered over, it's just an artifact of a work of imaginative fiction. It's not like there's an underlying reality, you know.
I do not understand this last sentence
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:18 PM   #47
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Well, I'd say that "days of dawn" is a a better approx of "long, long time ago"
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:28 PM   #48
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Well no doubt there are better ways to say this... but here of course I am trying to reinterpret a statement so that it might allow both it and RGEO to fit (well enough if not perfectly) into the history of Celeborn and Galadriel, and so I can't change the wording.

So so far I'm sticking with the Ered Wethrin

I think it's a bit odd to have Galadriel say this if she means she went to Lindorinand without Celeborn and returned... I mean why note this crossing if being together is so much a part of the meaning?

In other words, as a detail of history it works well enough, but not so much with respect to the context of Galadriel's statement. My scenario is a bit off too due to the timing of the 'fall', as I say, but at least it puts Galadriel with Celeborn together after this crossing, and doesn't seem to step on what I feel is a main thrust of the statement.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:45 AM   #49
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Anyway, be a "ghost" sentence, Tolkien did not repare in it in the revision of TLOTR post the new conception about Galadriel, or whatever be, if we want to make a reconstruction of his History (and of Celeborn) coherent with the whole legendarium, this sentence (and that in TRGEO), in my opinion, must be readed as a truth. And then act in consecuence.

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Old 02-20-2013, 10:59 AM   #50
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if we want to make a reconstruction of his History (and of Celeborn) coherent with the whole legendarium

Why?

Anyway, be a "ghost" sentence, Tolkien did not repare in it in the revision of TLOTR

Tolkien while brilliant was not infallible; the LR is littered with uncorrected lines he overlooked during revision- that's what a 'ghost' is, as in the 'ghost' of an earlier draft. Just for two examples, Aragorn's "sleep without fear" statement in Caras Galadon, and Pippin seeing the moon rising rather than setting on the night of the war-beacons.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:07 AM   #51
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Hmm, because we want to?

And Tolkien, when he was aware of an error in already published text, sometimes tried to work with it in some internal way. Not always, but sometimes he would, in my opinon to help with the inner consistency of the subcreated world.

In this case we all seem to agree that Tolkien just forgot this line, so why not try to make it work (I say).

No Tolkien wasn't perfect, but at times he played this 'game' himself, no?
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:14 PM   #52
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Hmm, because we want to?

And Tolkien, when he was aware of an error in already published text, sometimes tried to work with it in some internal way. Not always, but sometimes he would, in my opinon to help with the inner consistency of the subcreated world.

In this case we all seem to agree that Tolkien just forgot this line, so why not try to make it work (I say).

No Tolkien wasn't perfect, but at times he played this 'game' himself, no?
Well, Tolkien the inveterate Patience-player would often play the 'game'- most especially since as a philologist and medievalist he was as aware as any man how things in the real world grow organically and not according to regular, artificial 'patterns;' it's interesting in this light not only his love of trees in all their individuality, but how often in his writing even those RW epitomes of Vitruvian regularity, pillars and columns, are carved in the shapes of trees.

So if there was a bump which he perceived as being an organic 'bud' he would often leave it unpruned and see how it grew- but one can hardly say that of things like Eomer's "three nights ago;" either he got word of the Orc-raid three nights or four nights prior, it can't have been both.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:20 PM   #53
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Why?

Because I want to do it and I know some people also want to do. But of course, it`s a personal game, for personal reading.

In the mare-magnum of versions of this history I think is fascinating to try to put order in them.

Quote:
Tolkien while brilliant was not infallible; the LR is littered with uncorrected lines he overlooked during revision- that's what a 'ghost' is, as in the 'ghost' of an earlier draft. Just for two examples, Aragorn's "sleep without fear" statement in Caras Galadon, and Pippin seeing the moon rising rather than setting on the night of the war-beacons.
These and those in the post above are other kind of ghost sentences, that one could be minimised thanks to the legendarium "incomplete", and according with my/our principles exposed above in this post.

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Old 02-20-2013, 01:37 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin
(...) So if there was a bump which he perceived as being an organic 'bud' he would often leave it unpruned and see how it grew- but one can hardly say that of things like Eomer's "three nights ago;" either he got word of the Orc-raid three nights or four nights prior, it can't have been both.
I agree, some things we must simply accept as errors... Frodo's errors

And something like Finrod being Galadriel's father (first edition)... then Finarfin being her father, would be another type of inconsistency that might call for a finger pointing at Tolkien or at least some internal scribe perhaps. But this statement from Galadriel has a measure of wiggle room in it I think. Even within the context of its original conception, one would think Galadriel really means two ranges of mountains, although I suppose she could have gone round the Misty Mountains.

And even though I use 'game' I think Tolkien thought this important enough. Christopher Tolkien notes his father's concern for consistency in the author-published texts, although Tolkien also chose to undermine himself in places (in my opinion, the Finrod case for example), and so he was hardly consistent even with respect to text already in print.

And we know that Tolkien intended some variation within his legendarium, which arguably helped make his creation seem more real, not less, but obviously no one wants the unintended kind.
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Old 08-20-2015, 07:21 AM   #55
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In Unfinished Tales, Christopher Tolkien writes:

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"It is a natural assumption that Celeborn and Galadriel were present at the ruin of Doriath (it is said in one place that Celeborn "escaped the sack of Doriath"), and perhaps aided the escape of Elwing to the Havens of Sirion with the Silmaril -- but this is nowhere stated."

CJRT, commentary on Celeborn, The History of Galadriel and Celeborn
Can anyone referesh my memory of where this is said, that is, to what text does "in one place" refer, or, if the source has not been published, anyone know if it's "late" at least, say 1968 or later?

Is it somewhere obvious?

I've also revised my idea about the first version of the Elessar tale. I now think Tolkien meant that Olorin (not "Gandalf" the Istar as he would later become) visited Galadriel with the stone, before she could employ Nenya, or in other words, before the Last Alliance and the taking of the One from Sauron.

That at least would explain why Galadriel would consider wielding it.
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Old 12-27-2015, 02:25 AM   #56
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It's a very complex history, and the materials about what the prof said at his death bed were definitely for a headache.

http://forum.barrowdowns.com/showpos...2&postcount=49

Some of the] materials about Galadriel were amongst the last JRRT worked on. Chris also notes in UT that his dad wrote some stuff about Galadriel a month before his death. Seems to me that meant that Tolkien had some new thoughts about Galadriel that were missed by older materials. For example, the stuff he wrote a month before his death was the materials quarantining her from responsibility of Feanor's lead on the kinslaying, her and Celeborn (Teleporno) fighting valiantly with the Teleri (though Celeborn's lineage, elsewhere places him as a descendent of Elmo, bro to Elwe and Olwe, and this lineage links Dior, by marriage, to Elmo's brood, and so to Elwing, meaning Celebrian and Celeborn were related to Aragron (Elros) and also Arwen (Elrond). So, Gala and Celeb snatch a Telerin boat, and wander off to Middle Earth, roped in to the Ban thing, by implication, but arrived ahead of her "...unfriends forever..." Feanor (I had to say, I always chuckle when I re-read that stuff about Galadriel snubbing relative Feanor, and so the two were "unfriends forever".

Lineage matters shunted sideways, Chris notes that Galadriel's stuff is amongst the latest emendations to other materials and in fact, post dates LotR. There is the implication that Amroth is Galadriel's son (as you noted), for example, which post dates LotR.

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... like [again in my opinion] Galadriel as co-founder and co-ruler of Eregion. And thus [if so] there was/would be no need for her to be ousted from power at this point.
On this point about Galariel's and Celeborn's migration out of Beleriand, end of FA:
Galadriel and Celeborn had in their company a Noldorin craftsman named Celebrimbor. [He is here said to have been one of the survivors of Gondolin, who had been among Turgon's greatest artificers; but the text is emended to the later story that made him a descendant of Feanor, as is mentioned in Appendix B to The Lord of the Rings …and more fully detailed in the Silmarillion (pp. 176, 276" (p. 235, Unfinished Tales, 1980, Allen & Unwen , Hardback Ed)
That quote more goes to why version I of the Elessar, Enerdhil and all that don't square well with later emendations.

Chris notes that Galadriel and Celeborn were not mentioned in founding of Ost-In-Edhil but--the (late) essay on Galadriel and Celeborn states

Quote:
Although it is not stated that Galadriel was present when Annatar arrived (1200), "He perceived at once that Galadriel would be his chief adversary and obstacle, and he endeavoured therefore to placate her, bearing her score with outward patience and courtesy" (p. 237) and Sauron "…worked in secret, unknown to Galadriel and Celeborn and to seize power in Eregion" (p. 237) "So great became his hold on the Mirdain that at length he persuaded them to revolt against Galadriel and Celeborn and to seize power in Eregion" (p. 237) between 1350 and 1400 "Galadriel thereupon left eregion and passed through Khazad-dum to Lorinand, taking with her Amroth and Celebrian" (p. 237)
This places Galadriel and Celebron in the fray and how the revolt against them was orchestrated.

Bad boi Annatar comes in and stirs the pot around 1200 then
But in the meantime the power of Galadriel and Celeborn had grown, and Galadriel, assisted in this by her friendship with the Dwarves of Moria, had come into contact with the Nandorin realm of Lorinand on the other side of the Misty Mountains (p. 236)
So, the founding of Laurelindorenan and all that appears to have happened some time after 1200 and before 1695 SA (Because it was Gil Galad that gives her Mallorn seeds, gifted to him from Numenor [The seeds wouldn't grow in Lindon], this also implies a second-age-ish concept for the founding of Lorien, after Lorinand). I note that materials about Amroth and Nimrodel place Amroth as ruler of Lorien until -- much later -- (I have a headache ) around 3434, SA! Man--that's like really off tap Tolkien--we are talking a discrepancy of about 1000 years!!!!

Quote:
Also, Christopher Tolkien thinks The Elessar was probably written at about the same time as Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn,
Quote:
... but what came first, this chicken or this egg? And if The Elessar came first, how do we know the circumstances that were imagined behind Galadriel residing in Greenwood when Olorin visited? Christopher Tolkien states that possibly the reference to Galadriel living in Greenwood is related to the refrence in the first edition, in the tale of years of the Second Age, Appendix B:
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:26 AM   #57
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For the fuller context of Ivriniel's last post, and my responses in context... see the following thread

http://forum.barrowdowns.com/showthr...172#post690172

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Old 12-29-2015, 08:22 PM   #58
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Well, by definition all Galadriel material is post-LR, since she wasn't invented until then.
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Old 12-29-2015, 08:45 PM   #59
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Well, by definition all Galadriel material is post-LR, since she wasn't invented until then.
Tell us more, William, I'm really interested in your take.

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Old 12-30-2015, 05:21 PM   #60
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There's not really much else to say; you've covered just about everything. It's a fact of (external) history that neither Galadriel nor Celeborn existed until Tolkien came to write the Lothlorien chapters in 1940, and it wasn't until a decade or so later that he tried to ret-con them into his legendarium. Galadriel was given something of a bit part in the revised QS and especially in the Grey Annals, while Celeborn remained in her shadow.

The sad fact of the matter is that Tolkien never got around to inventing much history for the Second Age in the Great Lands, with the exception of his rather laconic coverage of the First War of the Rings.

----------------------

I can add this many worms to the can- while on the one hand Tolkien might be implying that Galadriel as well as Celeborn were present for the sack of Doriath, G's own statement would negate that: if she "passed over the mountains" before the fall of Nargothrond or Gondolin, then she was necessarily gone before Doriath fell (the first (Dwarf) sack occurred the same year as Gondolin went down, and several years after Nargthrond)
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Old 12-31-2015, 08:36 AM   #61
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"He [Celeborn] has dwelt in the West since the days of dawn, and I have dwelt with him years uncounted [starting in Doriath]; for ere the fall of Nargothrond or Gondolin [generally speaking, especially as some of the listeners are Hobbits: "a long long time ago"] I passed over the mountains [Ered Wethrin, then on to Doriath] and together through ages of the world we have fought the long defeat."


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Old 01-01-2016, 02:34 PM   #62
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Quote:
I passed over the mountains [Ered Wethrin, then on to Doriath]
That reading's really a stretch; there's little reason at all to think Galadriel spent any period of time in Hithlum long enough to make "passing over" the Ered Wethrin a significant event in her life. She was after all a Finarfinian, not of Fingolfin's house. In the developed mythos she lived first with her brother in Minas Tirith and Nargothrond, and then in Doriath.

When T wrote that passage it's pretty clear that his idea, at the time, was that Celeborn was a native Silvan Elf and Galadriel had met him in his own land of Lorien, where he had dwelt since the arrival of the Danians/Nandor before the Sun rose. By "mountains" Galadriel could have either meant the Ered Luin or the Hithaeglir; either way doesn't really affect the meaning.* The one really significant bit is the suggestion, never subsequently contradicted, that Galadriel had left Beleriand before the end of the Elder Days.

If one wants to bring in the late writings then the reading fails that way as well, since Galadriel was with Teleporno the whole time since before the Exile.

--------------------

*I now really don't recall- I imagine HME covers it- when it was Tolkien decided that Beleriand had been located west of the Shire, that Lindon was its last remnant and the Ered Luin its old eastern fences; was this before or after he wrote the Lorien chapters?
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Old 01-01-2016, 08:44 PM   #63
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According to the Grey Annals it could have been as much as 52 years before Galadriel passed the Ered Wethrin from the north (it's the first mention of her visiting Thingol in any case), but my guess is that it was around 18-20 years rather, and that Galadriel perhaps passed over for the Mereth Aderthad. Granted it could have been sooner too, but there is mention of Angrod meeting with Thingol and the text is silent about Galadriel.

So if she first crossed for the council, it's arguably memorable...

... a host crossing this mountain range to this historic great council and high feast (historic enough to be named and remembered). Plus, if I recall correctly, this could have been Galadriel's first major mountain range crossing, no matter how long she lived on the north side.

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When T wrote that passage it's pretty clear that his idea, at the time, was that Celeborn was a native Silvan Elf and Galadriel had met him in his own land of Lorien, where he had dwelt since the arrival of the Danians/Nandor before the Sun rose.
I agree Tolkien had a different history in mind, but how clear is it really when we take away draft texts and Christopher Tolkien's commentary, considering only the texts that Tolkien knew his readers would find on bookshelves. Even if the reading in The Lord of the Rings itself suggests Galadriel leaving Beleriand before the fall of Nargothrond, the history also reveals that at the end of the First Age, after the fall of Morgoth, Galadriel crossed the Ered Luin (now specifically named) with the Sindarin Celeborn (published by Tolkien in RGEO)

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By "mountains" Galadriel could have either meant the Ered Luin or the Hithaeglir; either way doesn't really affect the meaning.* The one really significant bit is the suggestion, never subsequently contradicted, that Galadriel had left Beleriand before the end of the Elder Days.
If she could have meant one of two mountain ranges, why not another?

I don't know if I would call the RGEO information a contradiction necessarily, but it should factor in to any interpretation in my opinion -- not that you aren't or didn't, I'm just generally noting it.

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If one wants to bring in the late writings then the reading fails that way as well, since Galadriel was with Teleporno the whole time since before the Exile.
I never bring in this late writing since it fails itself, on major points, to agree with already published (by author) text. And to my mind we can't know if Tolkien himself ever meant the reader to think any of this late account was true.

I doubt he intended readers to know that Celeborn was once a Silvan Elf... granted, the adumbrated text being so late, and its mere existence, arguably suggests "intent" in some measure, but even Christopher Tolkien's comments about this text appear to me to be a best guess, and I think Tolkien's memory is still a possible factor here (concerning what was written versus what was published).

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*I now really don't recall- I imagine HME covers it- when it was Tolkien decided that Beleriand had been located west of the Shire, that Lindon was its last remnant and the Ered Luin its old eastern fences; was this before or after he wrote the Lorien chapters?
I don't recall at the moment either, but it's interesting that the mountains of Galadriel's speech were seemingly once -- albeit in a draft passage differently expressed -- the mountains of Valinor. Which means nothing really except that if true, after the mountains "arrived" they changed in conception... so maybe once again?

In any case I realize some may think the above reading strained, as you do. So far some do, some don't.

But that's why I test it out
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Old 01-07-2016, 05:41 AM   #64
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To start off...I don't understand this drive to put The Lord of the Rings as the pinnacle of J.R.R. Tolkien's works; and an unchanging zealous commitment to it.

Why not make a few (relatively) minor changes to the LOTR to conform with Tolkien's latest ideas - to put this frankly - ...you are basically starting to look like fundamental christians/muslims/etc.

I think that this notion of The Lord of the Rings and to a lesser extent The Hobbit (and, of course, The Road Goes Ever On) as the "ultimate truth" which none should contest has many flaws - and an almost fanatical disregard for the revision of LOTR and The Hobbit (and RGEO).

The published books (during Tolkien's lifetime) - The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Road Goes Ever On, etc. should NOT be set in stone.

To finish my post, I think that Tolkien's LATEST ideas (contradictions aside) should have a higher priority to the published material.

Respectfully, Arvegil145
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Old 01-07-2016, 06:32 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Arvegil145 View Post
To start off...I don't understand this drive to put The Lord of the Rings as the pinnacle of J.R.R. Tolkien's works; and an unchanging zealous commitment to it.

Why not make a few (relatively) minor changes to the LOTR to conform with Tolkien's latest ideas - to put this frankly - ...you are basically starting to look like fundamental christians/muslims/etc.

I think that this notion of The Lord of the Rings and to a lesser extent The Hobbit (and, of course, The Road Goes Ever On) as the "ultimate truth" which none should contest has many flaws - and an almost fanatical disregard for the revision of LOTR and The Hobbit (and RGEO).

The published books (during Tolkien's lifetime) - The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Road Goes Ever On, etc. should NOT be set in stone.

[...]
I think it's fair to argue that "published material", or concluded pieces of art, should indeed be treated differently from mere drafts of "ideas" or concepts.

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Originally Posted by Arvegil
To finish my post, I think that Tolkien's LATEST ideas (contradictions aside) should have a higher priority to the published material.
I don't understand why there's such a need to unify all those different pieces and concepts into one consistent body, or canon. This undertaking is doomed to failure since it's impossible to simply put contradictions aside, as you put it, and cherry-pick the bits and pieces that fit into your idea of Middle-Earth. This method necessarily ignores the different premises and implications of those fundamentally diverse type of texts. I think it's a big mistake to declare that everything that Tolkien wrote (regarding Middle-Earth) should be treated equally, whether it's a completed and published novel or a note for himself.

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Old 01-07-2016, 10:52 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Arvegil145 View Post
To start off...I don't understand this drive to put The Lord of the Rings as the pinnacle of J.R.R. Tolkien's works; and an unchanging zealous commitment to it. Why not make a few (relatively) minor changes to the LOTR to conform with Tolkien's latest ideas - to put this frankly - ...you are basically starting to look like fundamental christians/muslims/etc.
Well, this seems a bit hyperbolic to me.

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I think that this notion of The Lord of the Rings and to a lesser extent The Hobbit (and, of course, The Road Goes Ever On) as the "ultimate truth" which none should contest has many flaws - and an almost fanatical disregard for the revision of LOTR and The Hobbit (and RGEO).
Not sure I understand this last part: who is disregarding the revisions of these books (and RGEO was not revised by Tolkien that I'm aware of)? And what are the many flaws you refer to?

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The published books (during Tolkien's lifetime) - The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Road Goes Ever On, etc. should NOT be set in stone. To finish my post, I think that Tolkien's LATEST ideas (contradictions aside) should have a higher priority to the published material.
In my opinion Tolkien himself did not think so, as evidenced by The Problem of ROS and the late Glorfindel texts (for examples). Moreover, in my opinion Tolkien illustrates that when he does make an error, or gives in to his own penchant for revision, he does not treat already published text like private written material.

Of course not! He rather tries to maintain the inner consistency of reality for the reader, part of the "spell", and to my mind an important part of crafting stories, as noted in On Fairy Stories, and in measure, in The Notion Club Papers as well. Gollum wasn't "really" ready to give his Ring to Bilbo, but yet the first edition merely reflects one, purposely not wholly accurate version of how Bilbo got the One. People accept this, and that's fine. Very inventive and sits well enough within the context of the new story.

But how often, and about what, is the author himself willing to do this sort of thing? In my opinion it's up to him, not us, in any case.


The adumbrated tale that I reject is no small detail of inconsistency, and to my mind by far outshines the inconsistency of ros being a Beorian word where it had been Sindarin in The Lord of the Rings -- how many readers would even have noticed that, but Tolkien still felt bound to reject his later idea.

The adumbrated text is also so unfinished that it needed to be paraphrased in Unfinished Tales, and I think notably, nowhere does Tolkien even mention the difficulty so obvious to Christopher Tolkien, that it contradicts a major, already published historical fact about a character that had become important to his father.

For all we know this text remained unfinished because Tolkien himself realized it wouldn't do. And we certainly cannot tell if he would have revised what he had set out in RGEO for "once and future readers", or if he had even realized the inconsistency at the time of writing it. If and when he published the revision however, then we could say otherwise.

I don't think this is a "fanatical" view at all but represents something rather basic about Secondary World-building and telling stories, even in consideration of an author sometimes forgetting what he had written.

If Tolkien forgets Feanor had seven sons and writes about five in the last year of his life, I'm perfectly happy to accept five. For all I know he didn't forget, for all I know he did... but if he had already published a reference to the seven sons of Feanor, and then he later publishes a new version with five, now the "man behind the curtain" might be revealed.

The reader will naturally go: hmmm. Error, or something else? As an author you don't want to break the spell unless you want to.


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'These late writings are notable for the many wholly new elements that entered the 'legendarium'; and also for the number of departures from earlier work on the Matter of the Elder Days. It may be suggested that whereas my father set great store by consistency at all points with The Lord of the Rings and the Appendices, so little concerning the First Age had appeared in print that he was under far less constraint. I am inclined to think, however, that the primary explanation of these differences lies rather in his writing largely from memory. The histories of the First Age would always remain in a somewhat fluid state so long as they were not fixed in published work; and he certainly did not have all the relevant manuscripts clearly arranged and set out before him. But it remains in any case an open question, whether (to give a single example) in the essay Of Dwarves and Men he had definitely rejected the greatly elaborated account of the houses of the Edain that had entered the Quenta Silmarillion in about 1958, or whether it had passed from his mind.'

Christopher Tolkien, Foreword, The Peoples of Middle-Earth
And besides Galadriel marrying her first cousin acccording to the adumbrated tale, and her husband suddenly becoming a Telerin prince of Aman (contradicts RGEO and LOTR first edition), in my opinion she cannot simply be lifted from the Rebellion like this. Tolkien had not only gone into detail about her part in the Rebellion, but gave her a special ban because of it.

RGEO is text the author finished and knowingly published for his readers, taking into account certain statements from The Lord of the Rings. Does Tolkien's world contain inconsistencies within the author-published corpus? Yes. These even he cannot cast lightly aside however, and I think we can see this in his answer (The Letters of JRR Tolkien) about Asfaloth wearing bridle and bit, for example (concerning which he did revise, by publication, to help his case).

On the other hand, no one even knows whether or not Tolkien simply wrote the adumbrated tale "just to write it". I would accept that JRRT had now imagined an "unstained" Galadriel and perhaps wanted her to be more easily associated with the Virgin Mary, an idea arguably helped by a chat with Lord Halsbury...

... not that I think this is a better story, I don't, but Tolkien may have thought so at the time. He also may have thought, both before or after writing the tale, that his new idea could never be published in any case. Writers sometimes write just to see where it takes them on the day.

In any case the only reason we know about all this draft text is through Christopher Tolkien letting us in to view his father's private material, but I doubt he did so to undermine the inner consistency of reality of Tolkien's world, even if the Master sometimes did so himself...

... by publishing certain changes when Ace Books provided him with the chance, for example.

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Old 01-07-2016, 11:38 AM   #67
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+1. Tolkien himself wouldn't have been happy with pigeon-holing and petty "consistency" - or even a definition of "canon." He was after all a man who spent his professional life with inconsistent and often contradictory medieval material, and its fuzziness and ambiguity was to him part of the charm and texture of ancientry.
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Old 01-07-2016, 11:54 AM   #68
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But WCH, we have examples illustrating that Tolkien was very much concerned with consistency, and in the general sphere of world building and story telling, he has to be obviously.

I would say that what Tolkien's work with "Primary World" texts helped teach him was that his tales didn't have to be perfectly consistent, and that a measure of inconsistency could actually help his cause. This led to The Drowning of Anadune, the Mannish Silmarillion, the two internal versions of the Elessar tale...

... but not to early versions of the Fall of Numenor, or three versions of the Elessar stone's history (the one in QS being a rejected draft). These are but draft versions that don't really count as purposed Secondary World inconsistencies, and in a sense, are not inconsitencies at all, no more than Trotter the Hobbit is inconsistent with Strider the Dunadan.

But once again, the measure is Tolkien's. Too much pepper (or salt, or what have you) spoils the soup. You can't just toss ingredients in willy nilly because there is inconsistency in the Primary World, generally speaking.
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Old 01-07-2016, 12:36 PM   #69
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In note 8 to Of Dwarves And Men, Christopher Tolkien points to explicit statements in Appendix E (II) about the origin of the Runes, and comments about his father pondering something Elrond had said...

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"... Thus the inconsistency, if inconsistency there was, could scarcely be removed; but in fact there was none. It was the "moon runes" that Elrond declared (...) to have been invented by the Dwarves and written by them with silver pens, not the Runes as an alphabetic form -- as my father at length noted with relief. I mention all this as an illustration of his intense concern to avoid discrepancy and inconsistency, even though in this case his anxiety was unfounded."

Christopher Tolkien, The Peoples of Middle-earth
Or try this: invent a "fantasy race" with a bit of a history and some details about them as they are "at present", and see how fast you are locked into a number of facts that you think should remain true as your tale unfolds. Doesn't mean you must abide by every detail of course, but how much will you overturn or refashion, and for what reason?

Concern with consistency is a general must; even when you choose to be inconsistent you are taking it into account, in a sense.
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Old 01-07-2016, 12:47 PM   #70
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Agreed. Overall there has to be order; but you still want your ersatz Beowulf manuscript (or Book of Mazarbul) to be a bit burned around the edges.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:25 AM   #71
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... by publishing certain changes when Ace Books provided him with the chance, for example.
I would like to add that the world was different back when Tolkien did this. Tolkien scholarship today is way more abundant I would guess, and even if not, today there's the internet. I think Tolkien gave in to his penchant for revision because he thought the first edition would fade away, be swamped by the revised edition, and in a way he is correct: how many readers today realize that omentielmo became omentielvo (second edition), or know about the "omentilmo scare"?

But today, very many people can log on to a chat site such as this, people who might never have picked up a first edition, and easily enough find out that "Frodo" made an error... ahem, yes Tolkien even tried to keep this internal, stating (in drafts at least) that it was Frodo's error, but he likely thought the change would fade into obscurity anyway, and that even if anyone knew, they would not be able to mention it on a "machine"...

... which could hold the information for years, waiting for any Tolkien fan to read.

Well, I can't know obvously. But I think in this world Tolkien would have at least thought twice about certain little tweaks to the second edition, and it's my attempt to try to explain how Tolkien could be, on the one hand, so concerned with consistency, and on the other, willing to niggle little details like... erm, who Galadriel's father was!

Finrod (first edition)... well not the person that was her brother, but he was named Inglor behind the scenes.

That and the fact that he's human.

I agree JRRT wanted some fuzzy or burnt edges, but in consideration of that, all the more I would say we let Tolkien burn the edges. But what does that mean? In my opinion the mere fact that a text exists doesn't mean a niggler of details like Tolkien is willing to publish it, especially if he will be creating a notable inconsistency, and especially if the text in question is in an obviously unfinished state. I'm far from convinced JRRT would have fuzzed the edges of Galadriel as a leader of the Rebellion, and it would have been something for him to have at least acknowledged that he was stepping on already published details here. It would have been perfectly Tolkienian for him to offer some reason why two stories about this existed internally, if, that is, he thought this plausible enough. I mean how much became garbled? And Galadriel was related to Elrond, a noted loremaster!

Tolkien didn't even note that any problem existed, much less try to work around it in some fashion. Could he have forgotten the history he had published in RGEO?

Well, due to a text dated 1968 or later, Christopher Tolkien thinks that his father forgot that Celebrimbor was a Feanorean, and that if he had remembered he would have felt bound by what he had published... and Tolkien had only published that detail for the second edition in the 1960s!

I might think it odd that "only" a couple years had (perhaps) passed since Tolkien added Celebrimbor the Feanorean to the published Appendices (before forgetting this), but then again I try to remember what I wrote two years ago on a Christmas card or something, and I have no clue.

Plus, Tolkien didn't have Hammond and Scull's Companions to help him!

And then there's age... and as I age I can say... well I get it
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:46 PM   #72
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From both Carpenter, and especially comments made by CRT, it's apparent that Tolkien's memory from ~1968 on wasn't all it had been; moreover, the move to Bournemouth in that year (for which he wasn't present, having broken his leg) reduced his papers to chaos (or, speaking as a person about as organised as JRRT, a different chaos unlike the familiar chaos)*, and in his last years he simply wasn't able to lay his hands on older writings. CRT's description of the papers as he found them in 1973 is, well, terrifying.

Yes, I do think it's entirely possible that he had forgotten the brief 'historical' comments he had written for RGEO; as far as he was concerned, the Elder Days were still unpublished and he was free to reshape them as he liked.

------------------------

*The worst possible "favor" anyone can do for me is clean up my desk! I know exactly which heap something is in.....
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