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Old 06-05-2019, 05:05 PM   #1
Urwen
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Turin and Maeglin?

There seems to be a parallel between these two

1. They both wielded a sword made by Eol
2. They both lost their entire family, themselves including.
3. They both fell in love with close kin
4. They were both cursed by a being of darkness.

Are there any other parallels that I've overlooked?
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:41 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Urwen View Post
There seems to be a parallel between these two

1. They both wielded a sword made by Eol
2. They both lost their entire family, themselves including.
3. They both fell in love with close kin
4. They were both cursed by a being of darkness.

Are there any other parallels that I've overlooked?
One was a noble hero, if horribly unlucky, and the other was a traitorous cur?
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:45 PM   #3
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One was a noble hero, if horribly unlucky, and the other was a traitorous cur?

Don't call him that.....
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:55 PM   #4
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One was a noble hero, if horribly unlucky, and the other was a traitorous cur?
Yes, one was a tragic hero swept up in a Doom that encompassed his whole family, the other was a coward, stalker and a weak-willed turncoat.
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:58 PM   #5
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Yes, one was a tragic hero swept up in a Doom that encompassed his whole family, the other was a coward, stalker and a weak-willed turncoat.
Coward? Hardly. He fought in Nirnaeth. In Nirnaeth. And I'd like to see you fare better when a Dark Lord of immense power is focused on you and tortures both your body and your spirit. Endlessly.

He didn't deserve his fate, and I stand by this sentiment. For I post for love of him, as Huinesoron put it.


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In spite of what he's done
I still cherish him, even if I'm the only one

For I feel sorry for him, and this is true
And there's no one else I can turn to.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:39 PM   #6
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Coward? Hardly. He fought in Nirnaeth. In Nirnaeth. And I'd like to see you fare better when a Dark Lord of immense power is focused on you and tortures both your body and your spirit. Endlessly.

He didn't deserve his fate, and I stand by this sentiment. For I post for love of him, as Huinesoron put it.
Most of Beleriand fought in the Nirnaeth, brave people and cowards alike; participation in battle isn't proof of bravery. And we have seen people fare better under Morgoth's torture - Hurin being the prime example.

However, I am not here to dissuade you from liking Maeglin. I am merely arguing with the arguments.
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Old 06-08-2019, 12:32 AM   #7
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So you see him as nothing more than a turncoat? That's a strangely shallow interpretation and it ignores the depth of his character.
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:01 AM   #8
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Back on topic, both of their fathers were imprisoned in Angband and were let go, and they too have been imprisoned.
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:02 AM   #9
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So you see him as nothing more than a turncoat? That's a strangely shallow interpretation and it ignores the depth of his character.
Yours really is the shallow interpretation in that it looks for depth which just isn't there, so you contrive it, instead.

He was obsessively incestuous with Idril. Yes, yes, we all know Pharaoh married his sister as a matter of course, but this tu quoque doesn't excuse Maeglin's (to use a rather execrable neologism) toxicity. And this obsession was his proverbial gateway to other things.

He disobeyed Turgon's order to not venture too far and got himself captured. Morgoth then scared him really, really badly. Oh, and he offered him the throne and Idril if he betrayed Gondolin. And then let him go!

But, according to you, he was too traumatized, or something, instead of just, plain greedy. So, the Middle Earth Manchurian Candidate then returns home, and, instead of telling Turgon about all of this (and, you know, ensuring that his people aren't slaughtered and his city destroyed), he stuck to the deal that he made with (ahem...) Morgoth. Well, perhaps I'm being too harsh. I suppose that sticking to the deal he made with Lucifer, I mean, Morgoth, makes Maeglin a man of his word in some fashion. Kudos to Maeglin, then, for being a stand-up guy!

Once the attack started and dragons were flying around, and however many days or weeks it took to breach the walls of Gondolin (Tolkien isn't specific on these times, but, presumably, they didn't happen instantaneously, like a Star Trek transporter invasion) Maeglin was still so traumatized that he was content to watch his own people get slaughtered as he went after Tuor. Now, that's a victim. Man... I'm in awe of his intersectional victimhood privilege.

So, yes: Maeglin was a victim, as well as a genuine, bona-fide tragic hero. I've now worked through my issues with Maeglin and I'm convinced!

May we now please stop playing this music? I suspect that everyone who's ever going to be convinced of Maeglin's... virtues... is convinced by now.
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:07 AM   #10
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Yes, let's go back to topic.

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Back on topic, both of their fathers were imprisoned in Angband and were let go, and they too have been imprisoned.

Why do you insist on bashing him and believing everything you read blindly instead of reading between the lines/forming your own opinions on the matter?
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:56 AM   #11
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Yes, let's go back to topic.

Why do you insist on bashing him and believing everything you read blindly instead of reading between the lines/forming your own opinions on the matter?
Sorry, you don't get to choose the topic when you've already opened Pandora's box, if I may mix mythological metaphors. This is just such a case, when you make a comment like:

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Originally Posted by Urwen View Post
Coward? Hardly. He fought in Nirnaeth. In Nirnaeth. And I'd like to see you fare better when a Dark Lord of immense power is focused on you and tortures both your body and your spirit. Endlessly.

He didn't deserve his fate, and I stand by this sentiment. For I post for love of him, as Huinesoron put it.
As Galadriel stated, a craven character may find himself in battle, particularly one such as Maeglin, who wished to ingratiate himself with Turgon, and increase his influence in the king's counsels. But his true cowardice and treachery occurred when he was cowed, with the mere threat of punishment, at the hands of Morgoth. He was not physically tortured, as the text makes quite clear -- so there is no indication that a "between the lines" set of inferences is necessary.

Not only did Maeglin surrender the location of Gondolin, he promised to become Morgoth's vassal and was to be given lordship of Gondolin and Idril as well. Let's forget about the fact that Maeglin's betrayal paved the way for the slaughter of thousands of elves, including his uncle and many kin, which is heinous enough, and would earn him universal condemnation; however, from the perspective of Tolkien, a medievalist and philologist, the words he wrote express the true perfidy of Maeglin:

"Great indeed was the joy of Morgoth, and to Maeglin he promised the lordship of Gondolin as his vassal..." -- Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin

The effect of transferring one's oath from one's true liege lord (in this case, Turgon), to an enemy (he being Morgoth), and in effect killing one's liege to usurp control of the kingdom would be tantamount to sacrilege in a feudal sense. The fact Maeglin was so cheaply bought without even a hint of true suffering speaks volumes in comparison to those heroes who defied Morgoth: Fingolfin, Luthien, Maedhros, Hurin, etc.

The additional issue of Maeglin being a creepy, incestuous stalker type trying to mate with his first cousin, when that type of relationship was expressly forbidden in Elvish society, makes him an altogether unsympathetic figure.

And Maeglin most assuredly deserved his fate. There is no "reading between the lines" to make him a tragic hero. He was not a hero, and the only outcome that was tragic was the massacre of innocent elves due to his betrayal. Tolkien is quite clear, and we need not make any needless inferences when he says of Maeglin:

"But Morgoth sent him back to Gondolin, lest any should suspect betrayal, and so that Maeglin should aid the assault from within, when the hour came; and he abode in the halls of the king with smiling face and evil in his heart..." -- Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin

The rest is fan-fiction nonsense. Blindly read, indeed.
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Old 06-08-2019, 12:14 PM   #12
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The Fall of Gondolin was written by survivors of Gondolin and later by Bilbo. Are you saying that the survivors of Gondolin weren't biased?

That goes especially for the teller of the original, Littleheart, son of Bronweg. Bronweg was close to Tuor, who killed Maeglin. Bronweg was one of biased ones (against Lomion) as a result, and he told the biased version to his son. Like the part where Meglin had Orc's blood in his veins. Bronweg and many other Golodhrim hated him, and so had an aptitude to write such a story where all the blame would fall squarely on his shoulders.
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Old 06-08-2019, 01:20 PM   #13
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The Fall of Gondolin was written by survivors of Gondolin and later by Bilbo. Are you saying that the survivors of Gondolin weren't biased?

That goes especially for the teller of the original, Littleheart, son of Bronweg. Bronweg was close to Tuor, who killed Maeglin. Bronweg was one of biased ones (against Lomion) as a result, and he told the biased version to his son. Like the part where Meglin had Orc's blood in his veins. Bronweg and many other Golodhrim hated him, and so had an aptitude to write such a story where all the blame would fall squarely on his shoulders.
So are you saying that we should discard the story we have altogether and make up whatever we want instead, because instead of seeing it as Tolkien telling us a story the way it is, you'd rather decide it's garbled history because it was told by some character or other? Remember, it's a made up history told by Tolkien. The creator. He creates it the way he truly wants it to be. Now he himself had multiple versions for various stories but that's not where you're taking your alternative histories line. You decide to scrap the word of the author as unreliable and make up what you want to make up. But here's the thing: if for the sake of this exercise we decide that Tolkien wrote The Silmarillion wrong (which itself is a loaded assumption, but whatever), why would your interpretation be the correct one?

Another fragment from the "true" Silmarillion: Lalaith was a devil child. She would bite everyone who touched her and made snarling noises. Her name was actually Snarly, not Laughter. She was possessed by Morgoth and did horrible things to people around her. She didn't die in the plague, she was killed by her own household who couldn't stand it any longer. But because historians knew her best through what her family and those close to them said, they got a biased account of the girl; moreover, they didn't want to throw the shade of murder on the House of Hurin. So instead we got the story of a laughing princess. How do you like this alternative history? It has as much foundation as your alternative interpretations of Maeglin.

If you start doubting the text, everything is put under question. You don't know anything anymore, and anything goes. Why not accept that this is a made up text, and as such is true as the author writes it?
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Old 06-08-2019, 01:55 PM   #14
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So you're saying that Tolkien hated his characters, as he put many of them through unfortunate situations and/or killed them off? Not only that, but he set the character of Lomion as the only elf who aided Morgoth.

Not only that, but Eol was imprisoned too, and then they captured his son, thousands of years later.


And speaking of possessions, I doubt Morgoth would have possessed Lalaith. She was a child, and thus she was of no use to him. But guess who was? Someone who entered his service willingly. Someone with the charisma and wit needed to sway people and convince them to lower their defenses.
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:14 PM   #15
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So you're saying that Tolkien hated his characters, as he put many of them through unfortunate situations and/or killed them off? Not only that, but he set the character of Lomion as the only elf who aided Morgoth.
That's literally what authors do, though. We do very nasty things to our characters - because we love the way they interact with their world. M(a)eglin persisted through every version of the Gondolin story; Tolkien clearly loved what he did for the story. But in the same way, he loved what Morgoth did for the story.

If you're imagining authors treat our characters the way we'd want them to be treated if they were real people... yeah, no. Not in a million years.

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Not only that, but Eol was imprisoned too, and then they captured his son, thousands of years later.
Wasn't that just a fairly crackpot theory either you or I came up with to say how it could be possible for Maeglin to have actual (rather than just rumoured) Orc blood? I don't think there's any even marginal textual evidence for that.

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Old 06-08-2019, 03:47 PM   #16
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That's literally what authors do, though. We do very nasty things to our characters - because we love the way they interact with their world. M(a)eglin persisted through every version of the Gondolin story; Tolkien clearly loved what he did for the story. But in the same way, he loved what Morgoth did for the story.

If you're imagining authors treat our characters the way we'd want them to be treated if they were real people... yeah, no. Not in a million years.

I get what you mean. I love torturing Maeglin in my stories. And Maedhros. And Feanor. And many others.



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Wasn't that just a fairly crackpot theory either you or I came up with to say how it could be possible for Maeglin to have actual (rather than just rumoured) Orc blood? I don't think there's any even marginal textual evidence for that.

hS

There is. It is in War of the Jewels book, which is a part of History of Middle Earth series.
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Old 06-08-2019, 09:15 PM   #17
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The Fall of Gondolin was written by survivors of Gondolin and later by Bilbo. Are you saying that the survivors of Gondolin weren't biased?

That goes especially for the teller of the original, Littleheart, son of Bronweg. Bronweg was close to Tuor, who killed Maeglin. Bronweg was one of biased ones (against Lomion) as a result, and he told the biased version to his son. Like the part where Meglin had Orc's blood in his veins. Bronweg and many other Golodhrim hated him, and so had an aptitude to write such a story where all the blame would fall squarely on his shoulders.
Look, I realize you're probably the sort who become pen pals with convicted murderers because "they're so misunderstood", but you're now basically calling Tuor and the survivors of Gondolin liars to suit your sordid fantasy. You're also ignoring the intended arc of the story the author wished to present by inferring propaganda created by another fictional character who was later eliminated from the story altogether.

So, I went back to the earlier texts of The Fall of Gondolin (The Book of Lost Tales II), and "Meglin" was even more despicable than in the drafts that made up The Silmarillion. But even though in the earlier drafts Meglin divulges his treachery to the orcs prior to even speaking with Melko (so much for fearing eternal torment), the basic story remains the same: Maeglin wishes to have an unnatural and unlawful relationship with his first cousin, Idril is repulsed, Maeglin travels out of Gondolin proper without Turgon's leave, is captured, and switches allegiance to Morgoth in order to have Gondolin as a vassal (or a great captaincy amongst the Orcs), and to seize Idril. Morgoth allows him to return to Gondolin "with smiling face and evil in his heart." He reveals to Morgoth when best to attack Gondolin (during a festival), Gondolin is destroyed in the only manner it could fall, by treachery, and thousands of elves are slaughtered.

During the battle, he tries to steal away with Idril and Eärendil, but Tuor saves his wife and child (Maeglin having no compunction to rape a married women with a child, evidently), and Maeglin is thrown to his ruin off the walls of Gondolin in a self-fulfilling reiteration of the destruction visited upon his equally twisted father, Eöl. And Tolkien the writer certainly enjoyed his ironic conceptual continuity.

Tolkien never deviates from Maeglin being a traitor and a reprobate. Tolkien is quite clear that Maeglin is a traitorous villain who dies without redemption, because he sought no redemption. Tolkien even has him killed in the same manner as his father, Maeglin being the fruit of the poisonous tree.

But I'm done arguing fan-fiction fallacies. Perhaps you should consider the same tack.
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Old 06-08-2019, 09:22 PM   #18
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The Fall of Gondolin was written by survivors of Gondolin and later by Bilbo.
No, it was written by Tolkien.
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:42 PM   #19
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Look, I realize you're probably the sort who become pen pals with convicted murderers because "they're so misunderstood", but you're now basically calling Tuor and the survivors of Gondolin liars to suit your sordid fantasy. You're also ignoring the intended arc of the story the author wished to present by inferring propaganda created by another fictional character who was later eliminated from the story altogether.

So, I went back to the earlier texts of The Fall of Gondolin (The Book of Lost Tales II), and "Meglin" was even more despicable than in the drafts that made up The Silmarillion. But even though in the earlier drafts Meglin divulges his treachery to the orcs prior to even speaking with Melko (so much for fearing eternal torment), the basic story remains the same: Maeglin wishes to have an unnatural and unlawful relationship with his first cousin, Idril is repulsed, Maeglin travels out of Gondolin proper without Turgon's leave, is captured, and switches allegiance to Morgoth in order to have Gondolin as a vassal (or a great captaincy amongst the Orcs), and to seize Idril. Morgoth allows him to return to Gondolin "with smiling face and evil in his heart." He reveals to Morgoth when best to attack Gondolin (during a festival), Gondolin is destroyed in the only manner it could fall, by treachery, and thousands of elves are slaughtered.

During the battle, he tries to steal away with Idril and Eärendil, but Tuor saves his wife and child (Maeglin having no compunction to rape a married women with a child, evidently), and Maeglin is thrown to his ruin off the walls of Gondolin in a self-fulfilling reiteration of the destruction visited upon his equally twisted father, Eöl. And Tolkien the writer certainly enjoyed his ironic conceptual continuity.

Tolkien never deviates from Maeglin being a traitor and a reprobate. Tolkien is quite clear that Maeglin is a traitorous villain who dies without redemption, because he sought no redemption. Tolkien even has him killed in the same manner as his father, Maeglin being the fruit of the poisonous tree.

But I'm done arguing fan-fiction fallacies. Perhaps you should consider the same tack.

You're the one who said no when I wanted to get back on topic......
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Old 06-09-2019, 05:59 AM   #20
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You're the one who said no when I wanted to get back on topic......
I am withdrawing myself from the conversation, whichever topic that may be; you, however, can continue with your Maeglinomaniacal Maeglinophilia.

To paraphrase a certain Hobbit regarding the ongoing subject of Maeglin, "Why, it feels all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread."
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:11 AM   #21
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So, any other similarities you can see?
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:35 AM   #22
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So, any other similarities you can see?
No, no, we're staying on the topic of changing accounts, because I made you a thing.

The Timeline of Maeglin

This table is a summary of M(a)eglin's story as told in the various accounts. It spans everything from the 1917 Fall to the 1970 Of Maeglin that went into the Silm (plus a footnote to The Wanderings of Hurin, which CT is cagey about dating).

What's really interesting is that Maeglin actually gets worse and worse from the Fall to the 1930 Quenta. In 1917 Melko already knew where Gondolin was; by 1930 Meglin was giving up its location as well as its secrets. He went from gaining a captaincy of Melko's army to lordship of the city as Morgoth's vassal. He also deliberately breaks the law in mining outside the mountains, where in 1917 he just strayed. And, oh yeah, the Quenta tells us that Meglin was plotting to usurp the throne of Gondolin even before his captivity.

(In both accounts, he also sends messages to Morgoth telling him to guard the Way of Escape. In the Quenta, the initial flight from Gondolin gets ambushed by a dragon because of him.)

Isfin (Aredhel)'s story stays roughly the same, though where exactly she gets lost varies - sometimes Taur-na-Fuin, sometimes Brethil, sometimes Nan Elmoth. Eol swings from a generic Dark Elf to a deserter from the Nirnaeth, back to our familiar grumpy kinsman of Thingol. The account of him being captured does exist (you were quite right!), but was rejected as too similar to Maeglin's capture.

Up until 1951, Meglin is a straight-up villain. It's only with the original 'Of Meglin' that any tragedy enters his story: that's when his parental murder-suicide story shows up, and it never changes after that. Unfortunately, the last account of the Fall of Gondolin was written 20 years earlier, and never revisited, so we don't have any idea whether Tolkien would have changed Maeglin's actions during the attack to reflect his more sympathetic backstory.

Except one. Buried in HoME XI is a footnote from The Wanderings of Hurin, which formed the lost end to the Grey Annals. I'm not sure whether it's from the '50s or later, but at any rate it postdates 'Of Meglin'. I've summarised it on the table, but CT records the full note like this:

Quote:
"Later when captured and Maeglin wished to buy his release with treachery, Morgoth must answer laughing, saying: Stale news will buy nothing. I know this already, I am not easily blinded! So Maeglin was obliged to offer more - to undermine resistance in Gondolin."

Almost exactly the same note is found on the slip giving in-formation about the new meaning of the name Haladin; but here, after the words "undermine resistance in Gondolin", my father continued: "and to compass the death of Tuor and Earendel
if he could. If he did he would be allowed to retain Idril (said Morgoth)."
Whether this is materially different to the original story is for you to judge, but is an interesting text in that it's the very last time Tolkien ever wrote anything about the Fall of Gondolin.

hS

PS: And in a roundabout link back to your question: the reason for the footnote is that Turin's dad, in his wanderings, had just given away Gondolin's location - so Maeglin couldn't own that betrayal any more...
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:59 AM   #23
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Why is everyone so insistent on going off-topic.....?
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:01 AM   #24
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Why is everyone so insistent on going off-topic.....?
Because I thought you'd like it?

Both were raised in a forest; clearly there is a deeper meaning to this.

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Old 06-10-2019, 07:16 AM   #25
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Yes, I do like it, but such discussions are more appropriate for my other thread, Thoughts on M(a)eglin.
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:32 AM   #26
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Another fragment from the "true" Silmarillion: Lalaith was a devil child. She would bite everyone who touched her and made snarling noises. Her name was actually Snarly, not Laughter. She was possessed by Morgoth and did horrible things to people around her. She didn't die in the plague, she was killed by her own household who couldn't stand it any longer. But because historians knew her best through what her family and those close to them said, they got a biased account of the girl; moreover, they didn't want to throw the shade of murder on the House of Hurin. So instead we got the story of a laughing princess. How do you like this alternative history? It has as much foundation as your alternative interpretations of Maeglin.
Why the scare quotes? That is from the true Silmarillion. We had an entire thread about the real Lalaith (or "Little Carcharoth" as she was known)! As I recall, we established that she bit Sador's foot off, among other things.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:46 AM   #27
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But were there tava beans to go with it?
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:54 AM   #28
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Why the scare quotes? That is from the true Silmarillion. We had an entire thread about the real Lalaith (or "Little Carcharoth" as she was known)! As I recall, we established that she bit Sador's foot off, among other things.

If you posit that this Lalaith story is from *real Silmarillion* then so is my Maeglin account. If you posit that my Maeglin account is not true, then neither is the Lalaith story. In other words, no matter what you say, one of my faves will be portrayed in good light. So take that.
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Old 06-13-2019, 03:51 PM   #29
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Are authors nice to their characters? Nope. Just ask Shakespeare. Or George RR Martin.

In the Silmarillion, damn near everybody dies. Maeglin is one of the few who actually deserves it.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:07 PM   #30
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Are authors nice to their characters? Nope. Just ask Shakespeare. Or George RR Martin.

In the Silmarillion, damn near everybody dies. Maeglin is one of the few who actually deserves it.

How would YOU feel if I were to say YOUR favorite character(s) all deserve to die?
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:24 PM   #31
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How would YOU feel if I were to say YOUR favorite character(s) all deserve to die?
I guess that would depend on whether or not he chose an incestuous traitor as his favorite character.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:26 PM   #32
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I guess that would depend on whether or not he chose an incestuous traitor as his favorite character.

Yet at the same time he glorifies Turin, who married his sister, which is even worse.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:39 PM   #33
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Yet at the same time he glorifies Turin, who married his sister, which is even worse.
Turin didn’t know it was his sister, and when he found out he was distraught.

Maeglin, on the other hand, had no such regrets and died having sold his city to Morgoth just so he could satisfy his lust on his cousin.
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:16 AM   #34
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How would YOU feel if I were to say YOUR favorite character(s) all deserve to die?
[Raises hand] I'm a fan of Maglor, and after his flip to 'no actually we should murder Eonwe's guards and just nick the jewels' he deserved everything he got.

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Old 06-15-2019, 09:32 AM   #35
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Turin didn’t know it was his sister, and when he found out he was distraught.

Maeglin, on the other hand, had no such regrets and died having sold his city to Morgoth just so he could satisfy his lust on his cousin.
...and against her will, as well, so it's rape piled on top of incest.
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:26 AM   #36
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Maeglin, on the other hand, had no such regrets and died having sold his city to Morgoth just so he could satisfy his lust on his cousin.
Yes, that sort of "desire" has no noble connotation in Arda. Ar-Pharazon of Numenor went a step further, actually taking his first cousin to wife. Where that stood in place among his myriad sins is debatable, but it certainly didn't help him.
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:39 AM   #37
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You don't understand. None of you does understand.....
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Old 06-15-2019, 02:08 PM   #38
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You don't understand. None of you does understand.....
So explain it. From how you've been talking, it comes across like you read the Silm and thought 'I bet Tolkien was totally lying about Maeglin and he was actually lovely'. But I don't imagine that's what happened.

So where does this come from? What is it about Maeglin as written that first drew you to him, and leads you to conjure up defenses of him?

hS
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Old 06-15-2019, 02:18 PM   #39
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I would, but it's kinda hard to explain.
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