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Old 02-10-2002, 06:27 PM   #1
Thingol
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Sting Of Ents and Dragons

In the Silm it says Melkor bread the dragons. My question is did Maiar or some sort of spirit inhabit the dragons like the werewolves or were they just maintained by the power of Melkor kind of like the dwarves and Aule before Illuvitar gave them life? Speeking of spirits inhabiting werewolves, are the ruined spirits that are mentioned Maiar or are they corrputed Elf Fea, like the Barrow Wights were? I'm pretty sure Carchaoth was a Maiar, but what about the other werewolves, and what about Vampires? The dragon's being created by Melkor is consistent with the whole Melkor dispersing his power into his minions theme. It required a great deal of Melkor's power to create and control his minions. Although that creates a problem, how did the dragons go on living after Melkor was destroyed? Smaug was certainly no puppet. Also do dragons live forever? In The Hobbit it says something to the effect of Dragons living practically forever if they are not slain. Does practically meen they are not imortal, or is this just one of those slips in The Hobbit? On Ents, what happens to Ent spirits when they die? I've always thought that when Ents get treeish that is sort of like the elves growing weary of life and laying down and dying. Do the Ents go to the Halls of Mandos if they die? (Either being slain or forsaking life and turning into trees)

[ February 10, 2002: Message edited by: Thingol ]
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Old 02-10-2002, 06:41 PM   #2
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I always thought that dragons had Maiar spirits dwelling in them. Glaurung is said to have had a "spirit" living in him.
Although on the other hand, Morgoth's voice came from Glaurung when he was going back into Nargothrond when Mablung was hiding in the river, so who knows?
A little of both maybe?
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Old 02-11-2002, 09:52 AM   #3
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Sting

I think that it's quite likely that the spirits of the Dragons were minor Maiar, a lot lesser in power than the Balrogs. The Dragons were able to live even after Melkor had been thrust to the Void, and so I think that they can't have been completely maintained by Melkor's thought. Their spiritual powers were probably enhanced and controlled by Melkor, though. Melkor's influence didn't necessarily mean total loss of independence - there are passages which tell us about Melkor dispersing his power to the Balrogs as well, and I'm quite certain that such major Maiar weren't mere puppets of their master.

I think that the first Dragons, those inhabited by Maiar, were probably immortal. A strong spirit can keep a body alive for an indefinite time - Elves, Valar and Maiar can all do this. I'd say that the offspring of the Maiar-inhabited Dragons was probably mortal, but very long-lived.

I believe that the spirits of the werewolves were corrupted Elven spirits. This makes sense to me, as it was Sauron the Necromancer who was the Lord (and possibly the maker?) of werewolves. Sauron's necromancy was based on the spirits of dead Elves (see the Barrow-wight thread for more on this), and the werewolves were probably both too numerous and too weak for their spirits to be Maiar, even minor ones. I don't think it's just a coincidence that the same person is both the Necromancer (master of controlling spirits of the dead) and the Lord of werewolves (monsters inhabited by evil spirits).
This is just speculation, though, even though I find lots of support for it in the texts.
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Old 02-11-2002, 02:12 PM   #4
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Sting

This is an excellent topic Thingol, IIRC then we have had a few discussions on this before,I tried searching for a certain thread but came up empty handed. I always thought that dragons would have had maiar spirits, not necessarily imprisoned like werewolves though. And I disagree with Elenhin on saying lesser maia would have inhabited dragons, with all the power they had one would think that a great spirit would be needed. Then again, Morgoth put for his power into them so maybe not
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Old 02-11-2002, 03:40 PM   #5
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Sting

I dont think minor Maiar could give dragons the power they have. Dragons actually seem to have more power than balrogs (Atleast when it comes to fighting), so I dont see why you would say lesser Maiar could inhabit them.

And I think some werewolves did have Maia spirits in them. Take Carcaroth for example. Do you think an elf spirit would be used to guard the gates of Thangorodrim?

Im just pointing out what I think. I dont have any time to get in depth right now.
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Old 02-11-2002, 04:37 PM   #6
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Sting

I think I agree with the more powerful maiar inhabiting dragons, (Dragons had much more offensive power than Balrogs, but Balrogs were probably stronger overall) but that poses a problem of why the dragons were quiet for all of the second age. I think Carchoth was a Maiar or maybe just a wolf that Melkor let a lot of his power pass into. The Barrow Wight thread is pretty informative about the whole elf spirit thing. Also what about Ents, what happens to their spirits when they die? On a side note what does IIRC stand for? [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]

[ February 11, 2002: Message edited by: Thingol ]
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Old 02-11-2002, 05:33 PM   #7
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I think that they were Maiar, since there was reference to them speaking intiligently.
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Old 02-12-2002, 04:12 PM   #8
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Sting

Perhaps I should have explained why I think that the Maiar inhabiting the Dragons are weaker than the Balrogs (assuming that the Maia-theory is correct, of course...).

I think it is accepted by most of the people that the Dragons were inhabited by Maiar. This means that the Dragons were a pre-existing species (corrupted by Morgoth, from some dinosaurs/lizards, perhaps?), and that the Maiarin spirits just took over the bodies of these animals. The Maiar inhabiting the Dragons didn't have to spend their powers in creating and maintaining the body. These Maiar didn't have to invest any power of their own in making the Dragons formidable combat-machines - fire-breathing and all the other nasty stuff were either natural to the animal or introduced to the species by Morgoth's tinkering. The Maia only needed to control the body. The Balrogs had incarnated in their bodies themselves, and they had had to spend some of their power to that. Unlike with the Dragons, their natural power also set limits to the form they assumed, and that's why they aren't the ultimate killing machines combining a Dragon's breath and size and a Balrog's skill and magic.

And by the way, I disagree with the assertion that Dragons were more dangerous than Balrogs. The Dragons might have been more efficient in battling large armies, but they were certainly more vulnerable to more skilled opponents.
Turin killed Glaurung... Earendil killed Ancalagon... Fram killed Scatha... Bard killed Smaug... and each of these dragon-slayers survived the fight - and these four are all the dragon-slayings we know of in Middle-earth. The War of Wrath, where many Dragons were slain, was left out though (but there is still a pattern here).
Glorfindel killed a Balrog... Echtelion killed a Balrog... Gandalf killed a Balrog... and all the Balrog-slayers died themselves in the fight. These are the only Balrog-slayings, again excluding the War of Wrath (there the Balrogs were probably opposed by more than just one mighty Elf-lord or Maia).


Thingol: IIRC = If I recall correctly
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Old 02-12-2002, 07:58 PM   #9
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The origins of the Ents are back in the song of Yavanna during the Great Music. You'll recall that she was afraid for her work, that it would be dominated and destroyed by the Children of Iluvatar & Aule. That was when Manwe had his vision where the Eagles and Ents were revealed. They are only refered to as "spirits from afar." I would assume that the spirits were Maiar.
What happened to Ents after they died might be they go to Mandos like other dwellers in the world. But they might also just go straight back to Eru in the Timeless Halls.

[ February 12, 2002: Message edited by: Kuruharan ]
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Old 02-12-2002, 07:59 PM   #10
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In responce to the assertion that dragons must have been inhabited my maiar because they spoke intellegently. Did not the eagles also speak intellegently, and were they not just animals, not possesed by maiar. This would disprove that line of reasoning. If you have any info, i'd appreciate.
 
Old 02-12-2002, 08:05 PM   #11
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Some of the Eagles seem to have been inhabited by Maiar. Thorondor and Gwaihir and their bunch are the most likely group for that.
There may have been 'normal' eagles in Middle earth too.
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Old 02-12-2002, 09:50 PM   #12
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Sting

I would say that because the eagles were created by Manwe as his vassels (For lack of a better word, dont know how to put it.) he naturally made them learned in speech.

As you can tell, every animal can speek in its own way. (Like the fox passing the hobbits commented on how it was strange to see four hobbits camping in the wilderness.) Its only a matter of whether men or elves can comprehend the speech which is questionable.

So speaking animals is nothing special. They did not have to be Maiar.
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Old 02-12-2002, 10:16 PM   #13
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I'd agree with you that animals 'speak' in their own way and that it's just a matter of the Elves and Men understanding them. However, the Eagles are spoken of in the Sil. has being spirits summoned from outside the world. If they aren't Maiar, what are they?

Seriously. I'm not arguing, I'd really like to know. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 02-12-2002, 11:17 PM   #14
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Good point, Kuruharan. I actually forgot that the eagles came from The Void. I guess they would have to be Maiar then. I find it odd though, that if they were Maiar, that as they multiplied there size and strength decayed (So to speak). Weren't the eagles of the third age said to be smaller (Though some were no less noble) than the eagles of the first age like Thorondor?
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Old 02-13-2002, 01:08 AM   #15
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Sting

Excellent stuff. But it's always possible something else was going on or was at Morgoth's disposal, then just the wayward spirits of races that we told about, such as Maiar or dead/lost Elves (of which I remain suspicious, as little more than preliminary ideas of Tolkien, the proper application of which were never developed in relation to other literary themes in completed works.)

For example, I don't think anything inhabits Trolls, beyond being animated rock. (Bert, William and ? having extraordinarily developed personalities and genius compared to the regular bruts) Trolls may have been in mockery of Ents, but don't seem to have been derived from their physical or spiritual form in the way the Orcs were evidently tortured out of some captured Elves over innumerable generations.

One gets the impression with Dragons, if not some other creatures, that Morgoth invested part of himself and his Malice in them. In other words they can operate independent of him, but are not true lifeforms, but only deformed creatures embodying pure Malice and Evil from their creator. Morgoth was a pretty resourceful guy, if not constructively creative. The Silmarillion makes it clear that all of this effort had taken its toll, and that he personally couldn't do what he used to, having dissipated so much of his own power and hate into his creatures.

Just some humble thoughts.
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Old 02-13-2002, 04:24 PM   #16
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I'm in the "Maiar spirits as dragons and eagles" camp.
Good thread guys!
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Old 02-13-2002, 08:46 PM   #17
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Sting

Yeah, the Eagles that Manw released are obviously something special from beyond Arda. I've long liked the Maia spirit for werewolves, and dragons, too, I suppose. But I just think that it's one of those for which an open mind is best.
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Old 05-12-2002, 12:27 PM   #18
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I'm betting dragons just live really, really long. They probably just age, like, the equvilent of 10 mortal years in maybe, oh, 100-1,000 years. Of course, it seems most dragons don't live that long; they seem to be killed a lot [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] . As for ents, maybe they get rencartnated into Hourns? Or maybe thay just become Hourns, i dont know.
 
Old 03-07-2003, 02:32 PM   #19
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Yes, dragons were supposed to be very old. They seem to have a short life because, by their reckoning, they aren't very old. Though, by our standards they are.

Their speech all depends on who/what they are talking to. Some elves and men could talk to them, that was because they could understand them in a way few others could.

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