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Old 09-11-2011, 02:04 PM   #1
Estelyn Telcontar
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Silmaril Silmarillion - Chapter 22 - Of the Ruin of Doriath

This chapter is connected to the previous one by several elements: it begins with the fate of the father Húrin, after death ended the fate of his son Túrin. And, as Aiwendil mentioned in the previous discussion, yet another Elven kingdom is destroyed:
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You know, it occurs to me that in the larger context of the history of the First Age, probably the most important event in this story is the fall of Nargothrond. Indeed, if one considers this and the subsequent two chapters, we have a trilogy of stories each of which revolves to some extent around the fall of one of the Elves' hidden kingdoms: here Nargothrond, in the next chapter Doriath, and in the chapter after that Gondolin.
Death and tragedy continue to be the most prominent elements in the continuation of Tolkien's epic tale, and once more a Silmaril is involved. The end of Beren and Lúthien's story is told, and the way is prepared for the tale of the fate of this Silmaril.

One important factor featured in this chapter is the enmity between Dwarves and Elves. Could the misunderstandings have been avoided and a better relationship have developed if characters had acted differently?

The corruptive influence of treasures is also shown, in this case the Nauglamir and one Silmaril. Did the combination of them multiply their fateful effect? On the one hand its beauty was great, especially when possessed by Lúthien. On the other hand, it had a negative influence even on her lifespan. And it caused a new Kinslaying.

One more thing occurred to me while rereading this chapter: the characters seem to fall into despair when their spouses die. We see that in Húrin, who even takes his own life after losing Morwen. But more fateful is Melian's withdrawal from the fate of her people when Thingol is killed - she withdraws her protection from the kingdom, which is left defenseless against its enemies. Not even Beren and Lúthien's son can restore its glory permanently. Should Melian have acted more responsibly, considering others more than her own grief?
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:50 PM   #2
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One important factor featured in this chapter is the enmity between Dwarves and Elves. Could the misunderstandings have been avoided and a better relationship have developed if characters had acted differently?
The invitation of Thingol to the Dwarves to meld the Nauglamír with a Silmaril certainly seems to be the beginning of the special breed of distrust, and even hate, that endured between Elves and Dwarves to the time of the War of the Ring. Sadly, one would think Thingol's idea to combine the two treasures, and most of all to involve the Dwarves, was a foreseeable disaster. I wonder if Melian tried to talk him out of it?

It was doomed from the start, for three reasons:

1. The Nauglamír was originally made by the Dwarves themselves. The original person they had given it to, Finrod, was dead, and they seem to have had a propensity to consider that things made by them reverted back to their ownership, if the recipient died.

2. The Silmaril itself was a lust-inducing object among the Children of Ilúvatar, and Dwarves didn't exactly have reputations for resisting such temptations. Also, Thingol in his turn was enthralled by it, setting the scene for a fight over possession.

3. Thingol had a great deal of pride. He'd already shown with Beren that he had some disdain for Men as being beneath him. The Beleriandic Elves in general didn't think much of the Dwarves, so Thingol's haughtiness in dealing with them wasn't exactly a surprise.

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The corruptive influence of treasures is also shown, in this case the Nauglamir and one Silmaril. Did the combination of them multiply their fateful effect? On the one hand its beauty was great, especially when possessed by Lúthien. On the other hand, it had a negative influence even on her lifespan. And it caused a new Kinslaying.
Wanting to possess beautiful treasures is time and time again seen in Tolkien's works to be a road to ruin. With the Silmarils, the Nauglamír, The One Ring, and the Arkenstone, there's a common theme that those who would possess items of beauty led to the would-be possessor being possessed by them.

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One more thing occurred to me while rereading this chapter: the characters seem to fall into despair when their spouses die. We see that in Húrin, who even takes his own life after losing Morwen. But more fateful is Melian's withdrawal from the fate of her people when Thingol is killed - she withdraws her protection from the kingdom, which is left defenseless against its enemies. Not even Beren and Lúthien's son can restore its glory permanently. Should Melian have acted more responsibly, considering others more than her own grief?
I think Melian was a special case. She, alone among the Valar or Maia (as far as we know) took on an incarnate form because she fell in love with one of the Children it was her job to help govern. The loss of Thingol hit her even harder because she was of the 'divine' race, and probably had never felt anything akin to that those feelings of loss and despair before. The text seems to make it clear that her withdrawal was only a side-effect: the loss of her powers would have been due to emotional trauma, something that, again due to her nature, she was unused to dealing with.
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:21 PM   #3
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While Turin's saga is the longest story in the Silmarillion and the one Tolkien seems to have sweated over more than any other, the Ruin of Doriath is undoubtedly the most puzzling and problematic from a textual point of view. Indeed, the version found in the published Silmarillion is the one instance where Christopher Tolkien found it necessary to resort to narrative invention of his own in order to assemble a coherent text. In light of this, I think it is perhaps more than usually desirable to have a brief outline of how the story evolved and what, in particular, made it so difficult to put into finished form. Apologies in advance for the length of this, but hey, no one's forcing you to read it.

The earliest version of the story is found in 'The Tale of the Nauglafring' from 'The Book of Lost Tales'. Actually, in the Lost Tales, the chapter divide is different, with Urin's (i.e. Hurin's) release from Angband and coming to Artanor (i.e. Doriath) forming the end of the 'Turin' chapter rather than the beginning of this one. In this version of the story, Urin gathers a band of men about him, goes to the ruined 'caves of the Rodothlim' (i.e. Nargothrond) where he kills Mim, and seizes the treasure of the Elves. Then he has his men carry the treasure to Tinwelint's (i.e. Thingol's) halls, where it is cast at his feet as his contemptuous 'payment' for looking after Urin's family. Urin then leaves, but a fight breaks out between his men and the Elves, both of whom are stricken with greed for the treasure. The Elves win, and though Gwendelin (i.e. Melian) counsels Tinwelint to dispose of the cursed gold, a strange character named Ufedhin, a Noldo who dwelt with the Dwarves of Nogrod, convinces him to commission the Dwarves to craft the unwrought gold into exquisite treasures. This they do, and among other things they fashion a necklace, the Nauglafring, in which the Silmaril is set. But the payment the Dwarves demand (including an Elf-maiden for each Dwarf) enrages Tinwelint, and he sends them away with almost nothing. When they bring the news back to Nogrod, Naugladur, the lord of the Dwarves, launches an assault on Tinwelint. The treacherous Elf Narthseg helps them thwart Gwendelin's protective magic and enter Artanor, where they kill Tinwelint and sack his halls; but on their return journey they are ambushed by Beren, leading a band of Green-Elves, who recovers the Silmaril. Much as in the Silmarillion, Beren and Luthien die, Dior is killed in an attack by the sons of Feanor, and Elwing escapes with the Nauglafring.

The next version of the story written is the highly compressed (less than two pages) account of the 'Sketch of the Mythology', which matches the Lost Tales version fairly closely, though some details (the fate of Hurin's band, the machinations of Ufedhin) are omitted. This account was revised and expanded to form the (still only four pages long) version found in the 'Quenta Noldorinwa'. In this version, Hurin's men kill Mim (against Hurin's wish); they take the gold, but due to Mim's curse, all of them save Hurin die in quarrels along the way. Hurin then goes to Thingol and gets him to send some of his folk to carry the gold into his hall, where Hurin mockingly declares it to be Thingol's fee for the keeping of his kin. Thingol commissions the Dwarves to work the gold, but greed drives the Dwarves to plot treachery; meanwhile, greed drives Thingol to reneg on the payment he promised them. There is a battle between Elves and Dwarves in the hall; the surviving Dwarves are driven off but they gather new forces in Nogrod and Belegost and, again aided by treacherous Elves, they enter Doriath and kill Thingol. As before, Beren leads a company of Green-Elves in an ambush against the Dwarves, and the rest of the story proceeds more or less as in the published version.

That was the last complete version of the story that Tolkien wrote, and it isn't hard to see that it would not fit into the more mature Legendarium very well. For one thing, as Christopher Tolkien points out, it makes Hurin's mocking gesture of 'payment' very silly indeed if he must first go to Thingol and ask his aid in bringing the very treasure Thingol is to be mocked with to his halls. One gets the feeling that this was just something Tolkien came up with on the spot after he killed off Hurin's men, and if he had ever written another long version of the story, he would undoubtedly have found a better solution. For another thing, the idea of treacherous Sindar helping a Dwarven army slip into Doriath, while perfectly in keeping with the character of the 'Lost Tales', would seem rather incongruous in the mature Silmarillion.

The story appears in even briefer form in the 'Annals of Beleriand', roughly contemporaneous with the 'Quenta'. Here, it is simply said that Hurin brought the gold to Thingol, with no mention of how he got it there or of the fate of his band of men.

In the 1950s Tolkien did return to this story and he wrote what appears to be the beginning of a new 'full' version. This text, called 'The Wanderings of Hurin', introduces a whole new episode with Hurin among the people of Haleth and runs to about thirty pages even though it goes no further than Hurin's departure from Brethil. Quite typically, it devolves into various notes and outlines at the end, from which it appears that, had this version continued, Hurin would again have gathered a band of men before going to Nargothrond to seize the gold.

The last thoughts that Tolkien put into writing concerning Thingol's quarrel with the Dwarves are found in the 'Tale of Years' from 1951-52. Here the traitorous Elves are gone, and it is only said that the Dwarven army invaded Doriath. But after writing this, Tolkien realized that this was not possible due to the protective Girdle of Melian, and in a contemporary note he wrote that it must be contrived that Thingol goes to war outside Doriath and is killed there. In the Tale of Years, interestingly, it becomes Celegorm and Curufin (not Beren) who ambush and destroy the Dwarf army, but the Nauglimir is not there because Melian brought it to Beren and Luthien before the Dwarves could get it. In a later letter, however, Beren is again mentioned as the one who ambushed the Dwarves, though now he has the aid not of Elves but of Ents.

That's a fairly tangled mess, but Christopher Tolkien managed to weave something out of it by introducing a few threads of his own. First of all, he omitted the new material introduced in 'The Wanderings of Hurin' since such a long and detailed account would be incongruous and grossly disproportional next to the terse summary that is all he had to work with for the rest of the chapter. Second, he cut out Hurin's band of followers and reduced the treasure brought to Doriath from hoards of unwrought gold to a single necklace. So instead of having been made specifically for the Silmaril, in CT's version, the Nauglimir already existed, and Thingol's commission for the Dwarves is only to set the Silmaril in it, not to fashion it (or anything else). Finally, he avoided the problem of getting the Dwarves through the Girdle (or of getting Thingol outside the Girdle) by having them kill Thingol right then and there after they finish the job; a full scale war is thus replaced by a single murder.

Additional readings:
HoMe II - The Lost Tales version, found in the end of 'Turambar and the Foaloke' and in 'The Nauglafring'.
HoMe IV - The 'Sketch of the Mythology' and 'Quenta Noldorinwa synopses.
HoMe XI - 'The Wanderings of Hurin' and the 'Tale of Years'
Letters - Letter 247 for the involvement of the Ents in Beren's ambush.

Last edited by Aiwendil; 09-12-2011 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:06 PM   #4
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Boots Some rather scattered thoughts...

Unfortunately, I've been stingy with my reputation, so I can't thank Aiwendil privately for what I'm about to publicly say: Thanks for the overview of the textual history. I quite agree with him that, more than in any other chapter, this one really invites a look at the draft versions.

In fact, because this chapter has the most "creative editing" going on, I quite deliberately waited until Aiwendil had posted, because I knew that anything I said was going to be coloured by the textual puzzle. I'm inclined to think that this chapter, more than any other, allows us to look at the editors. Christopher Tolkien and Guy Gavriel Kay deserve quite a lot of credit for being able to keep their "gap filling" inventions "invisible," so to speak. If there had never been an HoME, I rather doubt that anyone would have been able to pinpoint "Of the Ruin of Doriath" as the chapter they had the most creative (rather than recreative) work to do.

Even so, however, I find that I don't really know what to say about this chapter, because my own knowledge of its canonicity (to use that seductive and dangerous word) always makes me... tongue-tied, or something. It's kind of funny, because like the editors who put the published chapter together, I *know* what has to happen:

Húrin has to bring Thingol the Nauglamír (so that...)
Thingol must have the Dwarves set it (so that...)
The Dwarves have an altercation and Thingol is killed (giving us the Elf/Dwarf bad blood we see in ages thereafter)

Meanwhile, we also need:

Melian to abandon Doriath for grief at Thingol (so that the Girdle is lifted)
Dior to take the throne (and thus assuming Beren and Lúthien make a last appearance to recover the necklace)
The Fëanorians to be restirred to their oath (so that...)
Doriath falls, Dior is killed, and Elwing with the Nauglamír ends up in the Havens at Sirion (therefore setting us up for the Tale of Eärendil.

And, for what it's worth, "Of the Ruin of Doriath" does all this--and doesn't feel out of place next to the other chapters.

Yet it could have gone other ways. To use but a simple point, Mablung (in the published text) dies in this chapter, but in the note in HoME XI The War of the Jewels, relating to Dírhavel's original composition of the Narn i Chîn Húrin, says that Dírhavel was able to get part of Túrin's story from Mablung, who was Elwing's guardian in escaping Doriath. In this version of the story, Mablung died in the Fëanorian assault on the Havens--very similar to his death in the published Silm, but slightly different.

I'm afraid I'm not really going anywhere with all this...
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:24 PM   #5
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The invitation of Thingol to the Dwarves to meld the Nauglamír with a Silmaril certainly seems to be the beginning of the special breed of distrust, and even hate, that endured between Elves and Dwarves to the time of the War of the Ring.
I think that the distrust and even hate started long before that. Unless the world turned over without me realising it, Mim and Beleg did not get along very well. Beleg was passive. Mim was silently boiling, and it is clear that he had reason to boil. Elves and Dwarves had conflicts way before the Nauglamir issue, even though it was with a different kind of Dwarves.

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The text seems to make it clear that her withdrawal was only a side-effect: the loss of her powers would have been due to emotional trauma, something that, again due to her nature, she was unused to dealing with.
Agreed about the effect on her. Where does it say that she lost her power? I remember assuming that on another thread a long time ago, but when I looked for evidence I couldn't find any.
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:10 PM   #6
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I think that the distrust and even hate started long before that. Unless the world turned over without me realising it, Mim and Beleg did not get along very well. Beleg was passive. Mim was silently boiling, and it is clear that he had reason to boil. Elves and Dwarves had conflicts way before the Nauglamir issue, even though it was with a different kind of Dwarves.
Undoubtedly, there was mutual dislike from the first appearance of the Dwarves, as least as far as most of the the Elves of Beleriand were concerned. Still, I think the incident at Menegroth was the start of the active enmity the two races held for one another. I can't see little grievances as likely to carry over thousands of years.

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Agreed about the effect on her. Where does it say that she lost her power? I remember assuming that on another thread a long time ago, but when I looked for evidence I couldn't find any.
In this chapter, it is said that after Thingol's death:

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....a change came also upon Melian. Thus it came to pass that her power was withdrawn in that time from the forest of Neldoreth and Region, and Esgalduin the enchanted river spoke with a different voice, and Doriath lay open to its enemies.
All that says to me that the withdrawing of her power was involuntary. I can't see her, even mourning Thingol as she was, being so selfish as to deliberately strip the people she had taken as her own of protection.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:51 PM   #7
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Undoubtedly, there was mutual dislike from the first appearance of the Dwarves, as least as far as most of the the Elves of Beleriand were concerned. Still, I think the incident at Menegroth was the start of the active enmity the two races held for one another. I can't see little grievances as likely to carry over thousands of years.
Inziladun, the hunting down of the Petty-Dwarves (of which Mim was the last) by the Sindar Elves of Beleriand was not amusing to greater Dwarves. Despite the fact that the Petty-Dwarves were exiles, they were still considered kin by the other Dwarves and the injuries done to the Petty-Dwarves were resented by the other Dwarves. However, the incident at Menegroth caused mutual distrust and hatred.



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In this chapter, it is said that after Thingol's death:



All that says to me that the withdrawing of her power was involuntary. I can't see her, even mourning Thingol as she was, being so selfish as to deliberately strip the people she had taken as her own of protection.
What is peculiar is that, while she left her people without the protection of the Girdle, leading to the Dwarvish victory at the Battle of the Thousand Caves (where my alter ego won the day ), she also told Mablung to find Beren and make him ambush the Dwarves at the Sarn Athrad, where they were massacred.

By the way, has anyone wondered how and why the Ents came to be included in Beren's ambush of the Dwarves?
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Old 05-28-2015, 04:19 PM   #8
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To Aiwendil:
In my humble opinion, the characters of Ufedhin and Narthseg ought to be included. The Dwarves were right is requesting the Nauglamir, which was the work of their fathers. The whole hoard of Nargothrond was their rightful property, to be more specific. The only thing I was grateful for being removed was the demand of the craftsmen for woodland Elven maidens.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:14 PM   #9
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What is peculiar is that, while she left her people without the protection of the Girdle, leading to the Dwarvish victory at the Battle of the Thousand Caves (where my alter ego won the day ), she also told Mablung to find Beren and make him ambush the Dwarves at the Sarn Athrad, where they were massacred.
It seems the withdrawal of the Girdle was not a conscious act by Melian, but a symptom of her emotional and spiritual despair at the death of Thingol. Knowing that she was, either temporarily or no, incapable of doing anything herself to recover the Nauglamír, she did what she could to stop the Dwarves.

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By the way, has anyone wondered how and why the Ents came to be included in Beren's ambush of the Dwarves?
King Naugladur.
The Ents would have been close to the Green-elves, and the latter likely told them what had happened in Doriath.
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Old 05-29-2015, 03:38 AM   #10
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It seems the withdrawal of the Girdle was not a conscious act by Melian, but a symptom of her emotional and spiritual despair at the death of Thingol. Knowing that she was, either temporarily or no, incapable of doing anything herself to recover the Nauglamír, she did what she could to stop the Dwarves.
To me, it seems that Melian returned to Valinor in order to mourn her husband's death and possibly plead for his release from Mandos. After all, Melian was a Maia. She could have waited for Beren show up with his host or the war between Nogrod and Doriath end in one way or another and then go and mourn for her husband.



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The Ents would have been close to the Green-elves, and the latter likely told them what had happened in Doriath.
Quite a good explanation, Inziladun.
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Old 05-29-2015, 10:03 AM   #11
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Silmaril Nice to see this thread restarted

Nice to see that you restarted this thread, King Naugladur!

Aiwendil was very good in detailing the sources that went into Chapter 22 of the published Silmarillion. I would like to bring up what was in Chapter 8 of The Hobbit (1937). In describing the capture of Thorin by the Wood-elves, Tolkien said that they 'did not love dwarves', and thought of Thorin as 'an enemy'. The explanation for this was then given:

In ancient days they had wars with some of the dwarves, whom they accused of stealing their treasure. It is only fair to say that the dwarves gave a different account, and said that they only took what was their due, for the elf-king had bargained with them to shape his raw gold and silver, and had afterwards refused to give them their pay.


While there is no mention here of the Silmaril and the Nauglamír, this passage appears to be based on the versions in The Book of Lost Tales, Part 2. I'd be interested to know what people think.

King Naugladur, you said that the dwarves were 'right in requesting the Nauglamir, which was the work of their fathers. The whole hoard of Nargothrond was their rightful property, to be more specific'. I disagree with you.

Yes, the dwarves delved what was Nargothrond for Finrod Felagund, and also made the Nauglamír for him. In both cases, they appear to have been well and properly paid.

The whole hoard was therefore Finrod's property. Glaurung had no more right to the hoard than Smaug in later ages had to the hoard under the Lonely Mountain.
The same is true regarding Mîm, even if he was originally from Nogrod. Húrin then gave the Nauglamír, part of the hoard, to a relative of Finrod, Thingol, who was his great-uncle. It's possible that other relatives would have had a claim to the hoard, such as Finrod's sister Galadriel, and his cousin Turgon. But I don't see any dwarves having any legitimate claim.

According to what was in Chapter 22 of the published Silmarillion, the dwarves of Nogrod who were asked to add the Silmaril to the Nauglamír were 'filled with a great lust' to posess both and carry them off. When they finished their task, they witheld the Nauglamír from Thingol, claiming it was made for Finrod Felagund 'who is dead'. It then, according to them, came by the hand of Húrin 'who took it as a thief'. Thingol knew it was a 'pretext and fair cloak for their true intent'.

It appears that the dwarves were just inventing excuses. Finrod's death did not give them the right to inherit any of his property. At least Húrin gave the necklace to a relative of Finrod.

That said, as well as being unwise, it was deeply unworthy of a great king like Thingol to abuse the dwarves, calling them of 'uncouth race' and 'stunted people', not to mention demanding they leave unrewarded. He should have requested they leave after giving them the appropriate payment for the work they had completed.

However, the dwarves committed the ultimate offence, completely violating their status as guests, by murdering their host and stealing his property. (At least he had a better right to the necklace than they.) Also, it was made worse by the two surviving dwarves, who incorrectly claimed that the others of their party had been killed at the command of Thingol 'who thus would cheat them of their reward'.

What do people think?
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Old 05-29-2015, 12:35 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Faramir Jones View Post
King Naugladur, you said that the dwarves were 'right in requesting the Nauglamir, which was the work of their fathers. The whole hoard of Nargothrond was their rightful property, to be more specific'. I disagree with you.

Yes, the dwarves delved what was Nargothrond for Finrod Felagund, and also made the Nauglamír for him. In both cases, they appear to have been well and properly paid.

The whole hoard was therefore Finrod's property. Glaurung had no more right to the hoard than Smaug in later ages had to the hoard under the Lonely Mountain.
The same is true regarding Mîm, even if he was originally from Nogrod. Húrin then gave the Nauglamír, part of the hoard, to a relative of Finrod, Thingol, who was his great-uncle. It's possible that other relatives would have had a claim to the hoard, such as Finrod's sister Galadriel, and his cousin Turgon. But I don't see any dwarves having any legitimate claim.

According to what was in Chapter 22 of the published Silmarillion, the dwarves of Nogrod who were asked to add the Silmaril to the Nauglamír were 'filled with a great lust' to posess both and carry them off. When they finished their task, they witheld the Nauglamír from Thingol, claiming it was made for Finrod Felagund 'who is dead'. It then, according to them, came by the hand of Húrin 'who took it as a thief'. Thingol knew it was a 'pretext and fair cloak for their true intent'.

It appears that the dwarves were just inventing excuses. Finrod's death did not give them the right to inherit any of his property. At least Húrin gave the necklace to a relative of Finrod.

That said, as well as being unwise, it was deeply unworthy of a great king like Thingol to abuse the dwarves, calling them of 'uncouth race' and 'stunted people', not to mention demanding they leave unrewarded. He should have requested they leave after giving them the appropriate payment for the work they had completed.

However, the dwarves committed the ultimate offence, completely violating their status as guests, by murdering their host and stealing his property. (At least he had a better right to the necklace than they.) Also, it was made worse by the two surviving dwarves, who incorrectly claimed that the others of their party had been killed at the command of Thingol 'who thus would cheat them of their reward'.

What do people think?
Dearest Faramir Jones,

The dwarves did not delve Nargothrond for Finord Felagund. Before the Noldor came from over the Sea, the Petty-Dwarves had settled there and called the place Nulukkizdin. They were driven away by the Elves, who did not understand that the Petty-Dwarves were fellow incarnates. Thus, Mim is right in saying that the hoard belongs to him, sine he is the last of the original owners of Nargothrond. Also, since Finrod was dead and the realm of Nargothrond was no more after Glaurung sacked it, the treasure did not belong to nobody, but to the one who established claim over it and he was Mim. Hurin slew the Dwarf and then took the Nauglamir (in older versions, Mim cursed the treasure before dying).
Not even the Silmaril did not belong to Thingol. Since it was crafted by Feanor and Feanor was dead, it belonged to his sons. What do you think?
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Old 05-29-2015, 03:03 PM   #13
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I would like to bring up what was in Chapter 8 of The Hobbit (1937). In describing the capture of Thorin by the Wood-elves, Tolkien said that they 'did not love dwarves', and thought of Thorin as 'an enemy'. The explanation for this was then given:

In ancient days they had wars with some of the dwarves, whom they accused of stealing their treasure. It is only fair to say that the dwarves gave a different account, and said that they only took what was their due, for the elf-king had bargained with them to shape his raw gold and silver, and had afterwards refused to give them their pay.


While there is no mention here of the Silmaril and the Nauglamír, this passage appears to be based on the versions in The Book of Lost Tales, Part 2. I'd be interested to know what people think.
Yes, I agree that the passage from The Hobbit probably refers to this incident, and that it doesn't quite match the version in the published Silmarillion. It is more in line not only with the Lost Tales version of events but also with S, Q, the annals, etc. - in short, with all accounts written by J.R.R. Tolkien.
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Old 05-30-2015, 03:49 AM   #14
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Yes, I agree that the passage from The Hobbit probably refers to this incident, and that it doesn't quite match the version in the published Silmarillion. It is more in line not only with the Lost Tales version of events but also with S, Q, the annals, etc. - in short, with all accounts written by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Yes, what a pity that JRRT did not revise "The Tale of the Nauglafring" and the account in the published "Silmarillion" did, as a result, contain much Gay Kay. Thus, we don't really know if the murder of Thingol inside his halls was an idea of JRRT, CT or Gay Kay.
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Old 05-30-2015, 08:56 AM   #15
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Silmaril A couple of things

Thanks for your comment, Aiwendil. When I first read the 1977 Silmarillion, I made a connection between the killing of Thingol by the Dwarves of Nogrod and that reference in The Hobbit, so thought that including the latter in this thread would add to the debate.

King Naugladur, I was very interested in your last comment:

The dwarves did not delve Nargothrond for Finord Felagund. Before the Noldor came from over the Sea, the Petty-Dwarves had settled there and called the place Nulukkizdin. They were driven away by the Elves, who did not understand that the Petty-Dwarves were fellow incarnates. Thus, Mim is right in saying that the hoard belongs to him, since he is the last of the original owners of Nargothrond. Also, since Finrod was dead and the realm of Nargothrond was no more after Glaurung sacked it, the treasure did not belong to nobody, but to the one who established claim over it and he was Mim. Hurin slew the Dwarf and then took the Nauglamir (in older versions, Mim cursed the treasure before dying). Not even the Silmaril did not belong to Thingol. Since it was crafted by Feanor and Feanor was dead, it belonged to his sons.

In answer to it, while Mîm had an arguable claim to ownership of the halls of Nargothrond, he had none on the hoard it contained, which consisted of treasure Finrod brought out of Valinor, or manufactured for him for which he paid, such as the Nauglamír. It was inherited by his brother Orodreth on his death, and when the latter and his daughter Finduilas died, any claim of inheritance would go to other relatives, including Thingol. Húrin did not keep the Nauglamír for himself, but gave it to Thingol, who had an arguable claim to it.

Regarding the Silmaril, I agree that it belonged to the sons of Fëanor, and also agree with Melian's suggestion to her husband to return it to them. I also understand his refusal to do so, not just on the grounds of the sacrifices his daughter and son-in-law made to obtain it, but his refusal to give anything to the sons of Fëanor, who massacred his relatives and stole their property, and two of whom kidnapped his daughter. Such considerations, understandably and sadly, took precedence over realpolitik.
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Old 05-30-2015, 11:14 AM   #16
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Thanks for your comment, Aiwendil. When I first read the 1977 Silmarillion, I made a connection between the killing of Thingol by the Dwarves of Nogrod and that reference in The Hobbit, so thought that including the latter in this thread would add to the debate.

King Naugladur, I was very interested in your last comment:

The dwarves did not delve Nargothrond for Finord Felagund. Before the Noldor came from over the Sea, the Petty-Dwarves had settled there and called the place Nulukkizdin. They were driven away by the Elves, who did not understand that the Petty-Dwarves were fellow incarnates. Thus, Mim is right in saying that the hoard belongs to him, since he is the last of the original owners of Nargothrond. Also, since Finrod was dead and the realm of Nargothrond was no more after Glaurung sacked it, the treasure did not belong to nobody, but to the one who established claim over it and he was Mim. Hurin slew the Dwarf and then took the Nauglamir (in older versions, Mim cursed the treasure before dying). Not even the Silmaril did not belong to Thingol. Since it was crafted by Feanor and Feanor was dead, it belonged to his sons.

In answer to it, while Mîm had an arguable claim to ownership of the halls of Nargothrond, he had none on the hoard it contained, which consisted of treasure Finrod brought out of Valinor, or manufactured for him for which he paid, such as the Nauglamír. It was inherited by his brother Orodreth on his death, and when the latter and his daughter Finduilas died, any claim of inheritance would go to other relatives, including Thingol. Húrin did not keep the Nauglamír for himself, but gave it to Thingol, who had an arguable claim to it.

Regarding the Silmaril, I agree that it belonged to the sons of Fëanor, and also agree with Melian's suggestion to her husband to return it to them. I also understand his refusal to do so, not just on the grounds of the sacrifices his daughter and son-in-law made to obtain it, but his refusal to give anything to the sons of Fëanor, who massacred his relatives and stole their property, and two of whom kidnapped his daughter. Such considerations, understandably and sadly, took precedence over realpolitik.
Hello Faramir Jones,

Mim had inheritance claim to the caverns of Narog where Nulukkizdin and later Nargothrond lay. But, Turin had promised Mim a "danwedh" (ransom) in case he stumbled upon treasure and he took the hoard of Nargothrond as his promised reward. Moreover, one could argue that Mim's inheritance covered everything found inside the halls of Nargothrond, including the treasure. And, since Mim had no close kin, as the Petty-Dwarves were wiped out, the treasure had to go to members of the race he belonged to. What do you think?

As for the Silmaril, Thingol was not involved in the dispute between Feanor and the Teleri of Aman. Moreover, he had already issued his countermeasure, having banned Quenya within his realm. The Silmaril did not belong to him and he had to give it.

PS. Do you know how can I put accents over the letters (such as the umlaut over "e" in the name of Feanor, etc.)?
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Old 05-31-2015, 06:56 AM   #17
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Silmaril Claims and counterclaims

King Naugladur, dealing first with what you had to say about Nargothrond and the Nauglamír:

Mim had inheritance claim to the caverns of Narog where Nulukkizdin and later Nargothrond lay. But, Turin had promised Mim a "danwedh" (ransom) in case he stumbled upon treasure and he took the hoard of Nargothrond as his promised reward. Moreover, one could argue that Mim's inheritance covered everything found inside the halls of Nargothrond, including the treasure. And, since Mim had no close kin, as the Petty-Dwarves were wiped out, the treasure had to go to members of the race he belonged to. What do you think?

We appear to agree that Mîm had at least an arguable claim regarding Nargothrond. But that would not necessarily include a claim on any of the hoard. There is a distinction in law between 'real property', i.e. immovable property, such as land and any improvements made to it, and 'personal property', i.e. movable property, that can be moved from one place to another. Nargothrond is real or immovable property, while the hoard is personal or movable property. Having an arguable claim on the first does not mean the dwarf has one on the second.

I don't see the issue of Túrin's promise of compensation to Mîm for killing one of his sons as relevant here. You can't give away what isn't yours; and I have read nothing that indicated Túrin had any claim of ownership to any of the hoard. Again, the hoard belonged to Finrod, and on his death would arguably go to his surviving relatives, including Thingol. At least Húrin gave part of the hoard to someone with an arguable claim to it, instead of keeping it for himself.

Looking at what you said second, about the Silmaril:

As for the Silmaril, Thingol was not involved in the dispute between Feanor and the Teleri of Aman. Moreover, he had already issued his countermeasure, having banned Quenya within his realm. The Silmaril did not belong to him and he had to give it.

How could Thingol not be involved in a dispute where the people of his brother Olwë were massacred and their property stolen? I again agree that he still should have returned the Silmaril to the sons of Fëanor, as it was rightfully theirs, and would negate some of the effects of the Oath.

In answer to what you asked here:

PS. Do you know how can I put accents over the letters (such as the umlaut over "e" in the name of Feanor, etc.)?


I tend to open another web page and copy and paste the relevant names into the message box.
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Old 05-31-2015, 12:49 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=Faramir Jones;697043
We appear to agree that Mîm had at least an arguable claim regarding Nargothrond. But that would not necessarily include a claim on any of the hoard. There is a distinction in law between 'real property', i.e. immovable property, such as land and any improvements made to it, and 'personal property', i.e. movable property, that can be moved from one place to another. Nargothrond is real or immovable property, while the hoard is personal or movable property. Having an arguable claim on the first does not mean the dwarf has one on the second.

I don't see the issue of Túrin's promise of compensation to Mîm for killing one of his sons as relevant here. You can't give away what isn't yours; and I have read nothing that indicated Túrin had [I]any[/I] claim of ownership to any of the hoard. Again, the hoard belonged to Finrod, and on his death would arguably go to his surviving relatives, including Thingol. At least Húrin gave part of the hoard to someone with an arguable claim to it, instead of keeping it for himself.

Looking at what you said second, about the Silmaril:


How could Thingol not be involved in a dispute where the people of his brother Olwë were massacred and their property stolen? I again agree that he still should have returned the Silmaril to the sons of Fëanor, as it was rightfully theirs, and would negate some of the effects of the Oath. [QUOTE]

Dearest Faramir Jones,

In fact, Mim was owed two compensations. One for lost profits, because when the Petty-Dwarves were ousted from Nargothrond, the profits they would have made if they delved the mines were denied to them and Turin's ransom for the killing of his son by Androg. The first compensation owed to Mim can justify his taking over the hoard, while the second can be used in order to say that Hurin's slaying of Mim was an unjust act. But, since Mim was slain, his inheritance should go to his people.

As for the Kinslaying, Thingol could demand a monetary or other compensation, but he should give the Silmaril to the rightful owners. I wonder, if Thingol demanded the Sons of Feanor pay an amount of coin to him in order to give them the Silmaril, what would their reaction be?

Waiting for your response,

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Old 06-02-2015, 04:59 AM   #19
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Silmaril Ownership matters

King Naugladur, you first said that Mîm was owed two compensations:

In fact, Mim was owed two compensations. One for lost profits, because when the Petty-Dwarves were ousted from Nargothrond, the profits they would have made if they delved the mines were denied to them and Turin's ransom for the killing of his son by Androg. The first compensation owed to Mim can justify his taking over the hoard, while the second can be used in order to say that Hurin's slaying of Mim was an unjust act. But, since Mim was slain, his inheritance should go to his people.


I didn't read anywhere that the Petty-dwarves were in Nargothrond when Finrod came there; so they can't have been 'ousted' by him. Would the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains, whom he asked to carry out building there, have done anything in a place from which their own kin were evicted? I don't think they would. My own view is that when Finrod came to Nargothrond, there were no Petty-dwarves there, they having already moved, died off, or both.

I still don't see how Túrin has anything to do with Finrod's hoard. Túrin's offer of compensation to Mîm was based on the event that he came into any wealth. But you can't promise to pay from what isn't yours. Túrin didn't even claim any rights over the hoard.

How is the killing of Mîm by Húrin unjust, as he had betrayed Túrin to Morgoth?

You then said this:

As for the Kinslaying, Thingol could demand a monetary or other compensation, but he should give the Silmaril to the rightful owners. I wonder, if Thingol demanded the Sons of Feanor pay an amount of coin to him in order to give them the Silmaril, what would their reaction be?

I'm not clear about what you suggested here. Is it that Thingol should have demanded monetary compensation from the sons of Fëanor in return for the Silmaril, due to the Kinslaying?
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Old 06-03-2015, 01:25 PM   #20
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King Naugladur, you first said that Mîm was owed two compensations:

In fact, Mim was owed two compensations. One for lost profits, because when the Petty-Dwarves were ousted from Nargothrond, the profits they would have made if they delved the mines were denied to them and Turin's ransom for the killing of his son by Androg. The first compensation owed to Mim can justify his taking over the hoard, while the second can be used in order to say that Hurin's slaying of Mim was an unjust act. But, since Mim was slain, his inheritance should go to his people.


I didn't read anywhere that the Petty-dwarves were in Nargothrond when Finrod came there; so they can't have been 'ousted' by him. Would the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains, whom he asked to carry out building there, have done anything in a place from which their own kin were evicted? I don't think they would. My own view is that when Finrod came to Nargothrond, there were no Petty-dwarves there, they having already moved, died off, or both.

I still don't see how Túrin has anything to do with Finrod's hoard. Túrin's offer of compensation to Mîm was based on the event that he came into any wealth. But you can't promise to pay from what isn't yours. Túrin didn't even claim any rights over the hoard.

How is the killing of Mîm by Húrin unjust, as he had betrayed Túrin to Morgoth?

You then said this:

As for the Kinslaying, Thingol could demand a monetary or other compensation, but he should give the Silmaril to the rightful owners. I wonder, if Thingol demanded the Sons of Feanor pay an amount of coin to him in order to give them the Silmaril, what would their reaction be?

I'm not clear about what you suggested here. Is it that Thingol should have demanded monetary compensation from the sons of Fëanor in return for the Silmaril, due to the Kinslaying?
Dearest Faramir Jones,

In 'The Children of Hurin", it is said that the Petty-Dwarves hated the Exiles, for the Noldor had stolen their lands. We also know that the Elves did not understand that the Petty-Dwarves were incarnates and hunted them down for sport. Furthermore, we know that, while the other Dwarves resented the wrongs done to their kin, they were eager to work with the Elves, because both sides had gains from the cooperation.
While Turin had no rights on Finrod's hoard, Hurin ought to respect Turin's promise of paying a ransom to the Dwarf and not slay him. Moreover, Mim's betrayal was done in order for the Petty-Dwarf race to live a little longer, since the Orcs had Mim's surviving son as a hostage. Finally, Mim betrayed the Outlaws, but demanded Turin not to be harmed.
Coming to Thingol, what I suggested is that Thingol demands a compensation for the Kinslaying in every sort he wants and later, after the Sons of Feanor demanded the Silmaril, they enter negotiations concerning its surrender by Thingol to its rightful owners.

Waiting for your response,

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Old 06-05-2015, 08:27 AM   #21
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Silmaril Three issues here

King Naugladur, breaking down what you said, first regarding Nargothrond:

In 'The Children of Hurin", it is said that the Petty-Dwarves hated the Exiles, for the Noldor had stolen their lands. We also know that the Elves did not understand that the Petty-Dwarves were incarnates and hunted them down for sport. Furthermore, we know that, while the other Dwarves resented the wrongs done to their kin, they were eager to work with the Elves, because both sides had gains from the cooperation.

There's no information that Finrod behaved that way regarding Nargothrond. Even Mîm didn't accuse him of that kind of behaviour, let alone any other Dwarves.

Looking second, at the issue of Húrin and Túrin:

While Turin had no rights on Finrod's hoard, Hurin ought to respect Turin's promise of paying a ransom to the Dwarf and not slay him. Moreover, Mim's betrayal was done in order for the Petty-Dwarf race to live a little longer, since the Orcs had Mim's surviving son as a hostage. Finally, Mim betrayed the Outlaws, but demanded Turin not to be harmed.

I think there was some confusion earlier, about whether Túrin had any claim on Finrod's hoard. You appear to be saying that it is just an issue of Húrin sparing Mîm's life, on the grounds that his son had done so at an earlier time. But one could argue that the deal between Mîm and Túrin was broken because of the betrayal of the former.

While Mîm demanded that Túrin not be harmed, did he honestly think that Morgoth and Sauron were beings of their word? This is a place and time with no equivalent of the Geneva Conventions. While the Orcs promised that Túrin would not be killed, this allows a lot of latitude to Morgoth, who can do what he likes, as long as he doesn't kill him. Gwindor is a particular case in point. Húrin could have pointed out (if he had been in a mood to talk) that Mîm by his actions gave his son a possible fate worse than death. Of all people, Húrin knew what it was like to be kept alive but tormented by Morgoth.

Looking third, about Thingol:

Coming to Thingol, what I suggested is that Thingol demands a compensation for the Kinslaying in every sort he wants and later, after the Sons of Feanor demanded the Silmaril, they enter negotiations concerning its surrender by Thingol to its rightful owners.

It doesn't seem that Thingol was interested in any compensation from the sons of Fëanor; all he wanted was to have as little to do with them as possible, including banning any use of Quenya. By contrast, he allowed into his kingdom his four grand-nephews and grand-niece, Galadriel, whom he felt had nothing to do with the Kinslaying. Also, he kept in touch with Fingolfin and his people, whom he felt had atoned for what they did.

As before, I agree that he should have given up the Silmaril to the sons of Fëanor, as it was theirs. However, it would have helped if an apology had been given by Celegorm and Curufin, particularly the former, for their kidnapping and planned forced marriage of Lúthien. Indeed, I'm very surprised that Maedhros and Maglor didn't get in touch and dissociate themselves from what their brothers had done, which was particularly disgusting behaviour for Elves.
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Old 06-07-2015, 03:13 AM   #22
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King Naugladur, breaking down what you said, first regarding Nargothrond:

In 'The Children of Hurin", it is said that the Petty-Dwarves hated the Exiles, for the Noldor had stolen their lands. We also know that the Elves did not understand that the Petty-Dwarves were incarnates and hunted them down for sport. Furthermore, we know that, while the other Dwarves resented the wrongs done to their kin, they were eager to work with the Elves, because both sides had gains from the cooperation.

There's no information that Finrod behaved that way regarding Nargothrond. Even Mîm didn't accuse him of that kind of behaviour, let alone any other Dwarves.

Looking second, at the issue of Húrin and Túrin:

While Turin had no rights on Finrod's hoard, Hurin ought to respect Turin's promise of paying a ransom to the Dwarf and not slay him. Moreover, Mim's betrayal was done in order for the Petty-Dwarf race to live a little longer, since the Orcs had Mim's surviving son as a hostage. Finally, Mim betrayed the Outlaws, but demanded Turin not to be harmed.

I think there was some confusion earlier, about whether Túrin had any claim on Finrod's hoard. You appear to be saying that it is just an issue of Húrin sparing Mîm's life, on the grounds that his son had done so at an earlier time. But one could argue that the deal between Mîm and Túrin was broken because of the betrayal of the former.

While Mîm demanded that Túrin not be harmed, did he honestly think that Morgoth and Sauron were beings of their word? This is a place and time with no equivalent of the Geneva Conventions. While the Orcs promised that Túrin would not be killed, this allows a lot of latitude to Morgoth, who can do what he likes, as long as he doesn't kill him. Gwindor is a particular case in point. Húrin could have pointed out (if he had been in a mood to talk) that Mîm by his actions gave his son a possible fate worse than death. Of all people, Húrin knew what it was like to be kept alive but tormented by Morgoth.

Looking third, about Thingol:

Coming to Thingol, what I suggested is that Thingol demands a compensation for the Kinslaying in every sort he wants and later, after the Sons of Feanor demanded the Silmaril, they enter negotiations concerning its surrender by Thingol to its rightful owners.

It doesn't seem that Thingol was interested in any compensation from the sons of Fëanor; all he wanted was to have as little to do with them as possible, including banning any use of Quenya. By contrast, he allowed into his kingdom his four grand-nephews and grand-niece, Galadriel, whom he felt had nothing to do with the Kinslaying. Also, he kept in touch with Fingolfin and his people, whom he felt had atoned for what they did.

As before, I agree that he should have given up the Silmaril to the sons of Fëanor, as it was theirs. However, it would have helped if an apology had been given by Celegorm and Curufin, particularly the former, for their kidnapping and planned forced marriage of Lúthien. Indeed, I'm very surprised that Maedhros and Maglor didn't get in touch and dissociate themselves from what their brothers had done, which was particularly disgusting behaviour for Elves.
Dearest Faramir Jones,

First and foremost, I do not think Mim would like to remember names and faces of those who slew his kin. He never accused Finrod of doing something like this, but it is stated that the grudge harbored by the Petty-Dwarves and the Exiles (the proud ones from over the Sea in Mim's words) was the fact that the Noldor seized the lands belonging to the Petty-Dwarves. Nargothrond being the only one specified area where the Petty-Dwarves were evicted, we can surmise that, while he may not wished it, or never took part in it, Finrod built his kingdom on the blood of the harmless Petty-Dwarves.

Coming to Hurin and Turin, I stated before that Turin had no legal claim on Finrod's hoard. Turin had made two promises to the Dwarf: 1) that no man under him would slay Mim and 2) that he would pay him a "danwedh" in gold for his son. Mim's betrayal was not willing, he did it in order to save the life of his son, who was held hostage by the Orcs. His effort to secure Turin's life shows the measure of Mim's respect towards the Man. After all, Mim hated the Outlaws (who had killed his son and made him a hostage in his own home) but respected Turin. Only Turin could nullify his promise to Mim, which he did not.

Coming to Thingol and the sons of Feanor, I do agree that the behavior of Celegorm and Curufin was the worst they could do. It is quite possible that they told their tale as they wanted to Maedhros, who was not welcome into Doriath, either and thus he could not gather information from Thingol. But, since Thingol kept in his possession something he had no better a legal claim on than Morgoth, the attack was the only solution. And, IMO, f it was Maedhros who led it, and not Celegorm, things would have been better for both sides.

Waiting for your response,

King Naugladur.
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:13 AM   #23
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Silmaril The three issues again

King Naugladur, looking again at the three issues:

First and foremost, I do not think Mim would like to remember names and faces of those who slew his kin. He never accused Finrod of doing something like this, but it is stated that the grudge harbored by the Petty-Dwarves and the Exiles (the proud ones from over the Sea in Mim's words) was the fact that the Noldor seized the lands belonging to the Petty-Dwarves. Nargothrond being the only one specified area where the Petty-Dwarves were evicted, we can surmise that, while he may not wished it, or never took part in it, Finrod built his kingdom on the blood of the harmless Petty-Dwarves.

We don't have enough information about Finrod's responsibility; all we have is a general comment about what was done by the Noldor. The word 'evicted' was never used to describe what had happened to the Petty-dwarves in Nargothrond. All Mîm said was that his people were the first ones who dug there, but he didn't say what had happened to them. They could have left or died off. As the halls were vacant, he probably has a good claim on them, if not one on Finrod's hoard.

Turin had made two promises to the Dwarf: 1) that no man under him would slay Mim and 2) that he would pay him a "danwedh" in gold for his son. Mim's betrayal was not willing, he did it in order to save the life of his son, who was held hostage by the Orcs. His effort to secure Turin's life shows the measure of Mim's respect towards the Man. After all, Mim hated the Outlaws (who had killed his son and made him a hostage in his own home) but respected Turin. Only Turin could nullify his promise to Mim, which he did not.

We know that Túrin kept at least one part of his promise, that he would spare the lives of Mîm and his son; but we don't know if he paid the promised compensation in gold. Perhaps he had already done so by the time he was captured, hence Mîm asking the Orcs that he not be killed.

We don't know from the information available if Túrin paid this promised compensation to Mîm by the time he died. If he had done so, then the debt was paid. Even if it was not, I don't see Húrin having, in the circumstances, any responsibility for his son's unpaid debts. As far as he was concerned, Mîm betrayed his son to a fate worse than death, something of which he had had personal experience.

Coming to Thingol and the sons of Feanor, I do agree that the behavior of Celegorm and Curufin was the worst they could do. It is quite possible that they told their tale as they wanted to Maedhros, who was not welcome into Doriath, either and thus he could not gather information from Thingol. But, since Thingol kept in his possession something he had no better a legal claim on than Morgoth, the attack was the only solution. And, IMO, if it was Maedhros who led it, and not Celegorm, things would have been better for both sides.

That's where Maedhros and Maglor messed up so badly. Tolkien makes it clear that when Elves married, they did for love, or at least freely. Any idea of trying to marry a fellow Elf against (in this case) her will, was one of the worst things any Elf could do. To this is added the political dimension that Lúthien was the daughter of Thingol, the Lord of Beleriand.

I would have thought that Maedhros and Maglor, who appeared to have been reasonable Elves, should have tried to find out the truth, by asking those in Nargothrond what went on, and then asking their cousin Galadriel to get information from Melian.

Once that was done, those two brothers (and possibly also Amrod and Amras) should have formally apologised to Thingol for the disgusting behaviour of Celegorm and Curufin towards his daughter, and offered to pay compensation, before bringing up the issue of the Silmaril. While they should have mentioned the Oath, it should have been left to the end, they first mentioning that the jewel was their father's property, which had been stolen by Morgoth, and that their claim still stood, regardless of any oath.

I'm not saying that it would have resolved matters; but I thought that Maedhros and Maglor, and possibly also Amrod and Amras, should have first tried this kind of approach. Certainly the lack of an apology concerning what happened to Lúthien was completely wrong.
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Old 06-10-2015, 12:02 PM   #24
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Silmaril

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faramir Jones View Post
King Naugladur, looking again at the three issues:

We don't have enough information about Finrod's responsibility; all we have is a general comment about what was done by the Noldor. The word 'evicted' was never used to describe what had happened to the Petty-dwarves in Nargothrond. All Mîm said was that his people were the first ones who dug there, but he didn't say what had happened to them. They could have left or died off. As the halls were vacant, he probably has a good claim on them, if not one on Finrod's hoard.


We know that Túrin kept at least one part of his promise, that he would spare the lives of Mîm and his son; but we don't know if he paid the promised compensation in gold. Perhaps he had already done so by the time he was captured, hence Mîm asking the Orcs that he not be killed.

We don't know from the information available if Túrin paid this promised compensation to Mîm by the time he died. If he had done so, then the debt was paid. Even if it was not, I don't see Húrin having, in the circumstances, any responsibility for his son's unpaid debts. As far as he was concerned, Mîm betrayed his son to a fate worse than death, something of which he had had personal experience.



That's where Maedhros and Maglor messed up so badly. Tolkien makes it clear that when Elves married, they did for love, or at least freely. Any idea of trying to marry a fellow Elf against (in this case) her will, was one of the worst things any Elf could do. To this is added the political dimension that Lúthien was the daughter of Thingol, the Lord of Beleriand.

I would have thought that Maedhros and Maglor, who appeared to have been reasonable Elves, should have tried to find out the truth, by asking those in Nargothrond what went on, and then asking their cousin Galadriel to get information from Melian.

Once that was done, those two brothers (and possibly also Amrod and Amras) should have formally apologised to Thingol for the disgusting behaviour of Celegorm and Curufin towards his daughter, and offered to pay compensation, before bringing up the issue of the Silmaril. While they should have mentioned the Oath, it should have been left to the end, they first mentioning that the jewel was their father's property, which had been stolen by Morgoth, and that their claim still stood, regardless of any oath.

I'm not saying that it would have resolved matters; but I thought that Maedhros and Maglor, and possibly also Amrod and Amras, should have first tried this kind of approach. Certainly the lack of an apology concerning what happened to Lúthien was completely wrong.
Dearest Faramir Jones,

We seem to agree, at least to a degree, that Mim has a good claim on both Norgothrond and the hoard within, so I will proceed in the other two points.

In my humble opinion, had Turin paid the compensation, it would be mentioned. It is not mentioned if, during the brief success of the Dor-Cuarthol, Turin came in possession of treasure, but I deem it unlikely, since he was far more interested in military opposition to the Orcs of Morgoth and not wealth. On the other hand, Mim's plea for Turin not to be killed can be traced back to the great respect the Dwarf felt for him. It is mentioned that, during his first winter at the Bar-en-Danwedh, Turin listened very much to Mim's lore and the tales of his life. Since all Dwarves are normally keeping such things to themselves, we can surmise that Mim held Turin in very high esteem.

Coming to the behavior of Celegorm and Curufin, I do agree that Maedhros should have acted more responsibly. The lack of an apology was wrong, but this does not eliminate the fact that Thingol could not lay a valid claim on the Silmaril. Both sides committed gross errors, which resulted in the Second Kinslaying.

Waiting for your response,

King Naugladur.
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Old 06-11-2015, 04:28 AM   #25
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Silmaril Agreements and disagreements

Yes, King Naugladur, we agree on some things and disagree on others. It appears that while we agree that Mîm has a claim on Nargothrond, we disagree about his claim on the hoard, I claiming that he has none, it being Finrod's or his family's.

In terms of the issue of compensation:

In my humble opinion, had Turin paid the compensation, it would be mentioned. It is not mentioned if, during the brief success of the Dor-Cuarthol, Turin came in possession of treasure, but I deem it unlikely, since he was far more interested in military opposition to the Orcs of Morgoth and not wealth. On the other hand, Mim's plea for Turin not to be killed can be traced back to the great respect the Dwarf felt for him. It is mentioned that, during his first winter at the Bar-en-Danwedh, Turin listened very much to Mim's lore and the tales of his life. Since all Dwarves are normally keeping such things to themselves, we can surmise that Mim held Turin in very high esteem.

You may be right, for the reasons you gave, that Túrin was not in a position to pay the promised compensation to Mîm before he was captured. The dwarf may have asked for Túrin's life to be spared due to having respect for him. However, this has nothing to do with Finrod's hoard, which wasn't Túrin's. Also, while Túrin gave his word to Mîm, Húrin didn't, so was not part of that agreement.

Regarding the sons of Fëanor:

Coming to the behavior of Celegorm and Curufin, I do agree that Maedhros should have acted more responsibly. The lack of an apology was wrong, but this does not eliminate the fact that Thingol could not lay a valid claim on the Silmaril. Both sides committed gross errors, which resulted in the Second Kinslaying.

We agree that Thingol should have handed the Silmaril over, as it wasn't his. Also, the brothers should have acted far more diplomatically towards him regarding that jewel, which might have produced a better result.
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Old 07-16-2015, 09:58 AM   #26
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While it's true that the SoF, especially Maedhros, should have acted more diplomatically, it's another matter whether they could. They were under the Doom of Mandos, most especially in any matter concerning the Silmarils and the Oath: "On the House of Fëanor the wrath of the Valar lieth from the West unto the uttermost East...Their Oath shall drive them, and yet betray them;" and I think those were drivers of irrational conduct, an independent dark psychological force somewhat reminiscent of the effect of the One Ring.

(It's also likely the case that, although M&M weren't as crude as Caranthir, privately they too thought of Thingol as a "dark Elf in his caves;" the thought of such an inferior possessing a Silmaril was intolerable to them.)
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:35 AM   #27
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Thumbs up Why not at least try?

Thanks for you contribution, William, and apologies for not replying sooner.

In terms of what you said:

While it's true that the SoF, especially Maedhros, should have acted more diplomatically, it's another matter whether they could. They were under the Doom of Mandos, most especially in any matter concerning the Silmarils and the Oath: "On the House of Fëanor the wrath of the Valar lieth from the West unto the uttermost East...Their Oath shall drive them, and yet betray them;" and I think those were drivers of irrational conduct, an independent dark psychological force somewhat reminiscent of the effect of the One Ring.

(It's also likely the case that, although M&M weren't as crude as Caranthir, privately they too thought of Thingol as a "dark Elf in his caves;" the thought of such an inferior possessing a Silmaril was intolerable to them.)


I think they could have acted more diplomatically; because they, unlike humans who eventually die of old age, have plenty of time to spare. This can be seen when they did not attack Morgoth for centuries, despite the Oath being in force. All seven appeared to then have no problem letting it slumber for a time.

If they were prepared to be patient with their greatest enemy, who killed their father, could they not be at least equally patient with a fellow Elf? Why not at least try to get the Silmaril back by diplomatic means? At least it would give some public justification for any future use of force.

Sadly, you're probably right, in terms of what many of the SoF privately thought about Thingol. But they could have at least been publicly diplomatic towards him, particularly after the scandal of two of them kidnapping his daughter.

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Old 08-27-2015, 07:41 PM   #28
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Well, assaulting Angband was impossible, whereas Doriath was do-able. And the SoF did wage constant war on Morgoth after all.
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Old 09-03-2015, 01:41 AM   #29
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Silmaril Very, very, very difficult and costly

I wouldn't say that assaulting Angband was impossible, just very, very, very difficult and costly.

There's also the issue of attacking Doriath after the Fifth Battle, which is a wonderful way of assisting Morgoth.
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